Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, has welcomed the start of Living Wage Week (3-7 November), and urged more local employers to consider adopting the living wage.
New research shows that one in five employees across the country – 4.9 million people – earn less than the living wage. In Milton Keynes, it is estimated that the figure for people earning less than the living wage is 17,000.
Andrew is supporting Citizens MK who have been leading the campaign to encourage more employers to adopt the living wage. Big names employers such as the Open University, KPMG, Nationwide and Network Rail , as well as community organisations such as Woughton Community Council and Make a Difference, who run the Buzsy.
Milton Keynes Council is already making progress on becoming a living wage employer – a key pledge of the new Labour administration during the May elections.
Andrew Pakes, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, commented: “Our ambition for Milton Keynes should not just be about attracting new businesses to the borough, but also about the kind of jobs we are creating. It is great to see so many employers and social enterprises across the city paying the living wage, but low pay still remains a reality for too many people.
“Living Wage Week is a great opportunity to celebrate employers already paying the living wage, and to highlight what else needs to be done. Despite the economy beginning to pick up, the benefits of growth are still not being shared widely enough. Over a quarter of jobs in the borough are classified as low paid and, in some parts of the city, one in four children are growing up in poverty.
“Milton Keynes is one of the most attractive places in the country for business investment, but our success cannot be built on the back of low pay and growing inequality. The Living wage, and the work of groups like Citizens MK, shows another way is possible.”