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David Ellesmere: A moral and economic imperative to tackle low pay

Another reason for distrust is when there is a big difference between what politicians are saying and what people are experiencing, writes David Ellesmere, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Ipswich.

The biggest example today is what Government ministers are saying about the economy and what most people see around them.

If you listened to ministers youd think we were living in a new economic golden age. Greatest number of jobs! Lowest ever unemployment! Record growth!

But thats not the experience of people I speak to in Ipswich.

They arent seeing the benefits of economic growth. They dont feel better off now than five years ago. They know they are worse off.

Wages have increased by much less than prices over the course of this Parliament. This isnt an accident. Keeping down wages - unless you are the director of a large company - is part of the Governments long term economic plan.

The effects are becoming clear.

The number of low paid working people claiming housing benefit in Ipswich has increased by 50% since 2010. Between November 2013 and August 2014 there were precisely three fewer working people claiming housing benefit in Ipswich.

This is why, despite supposed record numbers in work, the Government is still borrowing at record levels. If wages stagnate in the next Parliament like they have in this, the benefits bill for working people will be £9bn more than the Government are currently predicting.

Under this Government, getting a job is no longer a route out of poverty. This has to change.

It is both morally and economically imperative that we tackle low pay in Britain.

 

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