Friday, 14 September 2012

Torbay Green Party Supports Living Wage Campaign

Yesterday in my guise as Secretary of Torbay Trades Union Council I was delighted to meet with Torbay Green Party members in Paignton to welcome their support for the TUC campaign in support of a 'living wage', which is to be set at 60% of the median UK wage. This is essential in the bay as the area suffers from a low wage low value employment economy, and as Romanyne Phoenix said during the Green Party leadership contest "The economic and environmental crises are two sides of the same coin. Neither struggle exists independently of the other." 

Green Left SW exists to illustrate the need to fight for social and environmental justice and to promote eco-socialist ideas within and without the Green party in Torbay and across the West Country.

Unlike Ed Balls and the Labour party we will not be offering austerity-lite policies. The Green party is the only electoral party with an explicit opposition to the cuts programme of the bigger parties. We are proud to be green trade unionists !

Here is the excellent press report from the website pages of the South Devon newspaper, The Herald Express (14/09/12) :

The Torbay Green Party continues to campaign for real changes in the
lives of so many people who have been marginalised by the establishment parties
  1. Torbay Green Party and the TUC in Paignton this week supporting a ‘Living Wage’ for Torbay
    Torbay Green Party and the TUC in Paignton this week supporting a ‘Living Wage’ for Torbay
and has given its full support to the 'Living Wage Campaign' being run by
Torbay Trades Union Council (TUC). 

Dr Sam Moss, Chairman of Torbay Green Party said, 'Torbay Trades Council
is highlighting how their members are blighted by an ever-growing wage
inequality which endangers health and has a detrimental impact on family lifeA real "living wage" of at least
£7.20 per hour, based on the work carried out for the Living Wage Foundation (LWF)
by Loughborough University, will provide a secure margin so that hard working
families do not fall into poverty and debt when they face the kind of
day-to-day challenges that the better off can take in their stride.'

Barrie Wood, Secretary of Torbay TUC commented, 'I am delighted to hear
that the Green Party locally and nationally are supporting the Living Wage Campaign,
as we seek to build a consensus in favour of justice at work.'

Sam added, 'the current minimum wage falls well short of what's needed –
more than a pound an hour short in fact – from last October the minimum wage
has been just £6.08. This is totally unacceptable. Every study finds the
"poverty threshold wage" to be higher than the minimum wage set by the
coalition government. If the Greens were in power the national minimum wage
would be set at the level of a real living wage equal to 60%
of net national average earnings. The "Living Wage" will rise above £7.20 in
November (approximately 3.5% according to the LWF). We call on Torbay Council
to establish a Living Wage Commission for the borough as soon as possible to
stop poverty wages being paid in Torbay and help reduce inequality.' 

The proportion of people on low pay is steadily increasing and the
economic gap between Torbay and the rest of Devon and the UK has been widening
in recent years. The yearly
average income per person in Torbay is over £3,000 below the national average
and the bay area has pockets of severe deprivation – the consequences of this
will affect us all! The overwhelming evidence shows that more equal societies are healthier, happier and more prosperous.

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