Lewisham Labour calls on Government to “Scrap the cap”

Lewisham Labour Councillors have passed a Lewisham Council motion that calls for an immediate end to the public sector pay cap.

The motion highlights the fact that in terms of inflation and other economic factors real terms wages have fallen over 21% since 2010 and things will only get worse. This is without even taking into account the drastic austerity based ideological cuts which are already having significant impact on these already stretched public services.

Lewisham Labour backs the claims from the NJC and supported by a multitude of Public Sector Unions including: Unison, GMB and Unite.

Councillor Paul Bell who spoke in favour of the motion said:

“Our staff are our greatest asset. Paying a fair wage for their tremendous hard work and dedication is not simply a good thing to do, it is the morally right thing to do.”

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Financial Wellbeing of Staff

In July 2016 a YouGov Shelter report found that more than one in three (37%) of UK households were teetering on the brink of homelessness, unable to pay more than a month’s rent or mortgage if they lost their income. 

Between 2008 and 2014 cost of living went up 28% whilst salary grew by just 9%. 

The Bank Workers Charity has produced a new report that highlights how £120bn of productivity is lost per year because of it and the actions employers can take to reduce the financial cost and negative impacts on our staff.


Full report:

‪http://thewellbeingpulse.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Employee-financial-wellbeing-Time-to-do-more.pdf

£40,000 to live alone in London, new research finds

The 2017 ‘Rent Affordability Index’ research, carried out by nested.com, shows that the average salary for a singleton to live alone in London has soared to more than £40,000/yr, and a family of four need an income of more than £75,000/yr

The research shows that London is the 11th most expensive city in the world to live in, based on a square footage alone, we however know utilities and goods and services tend to be much, much, higher in UK and London in particular.

The report continues to identify that an individual earning The London Living Wage of £9.75hr would need to work 12hrs, every day of the year to reach this income threshold. 

When looking at city comparators across the U.K.- London unsurprisingly takes the stop spot, but what is shocking is the difference between London’s first place (£39,876.84) and 2nd  (£20,737.20) places is £19,139.64, almost 50% variance. 

Update: some have written to say that they disagree with this average rents for their area. Consistently, but only anecdotally, said they’re higher, in London or otherwise. That aside, this blog is focussed more about the loss of the life stage of living by yourself, whether as a transition army between professional sharer and starting a family, but equally about the financial trap individuals, who may have had a relationship breakdown, but can not afford to live alone. This will disproportionately affect women, and those less economically active.

In January 2014, Land Registry figures showed average house prices across the whole of England and Wales were £168,536, but in London the average was £409,881 (143% higher than the England/Wales rate). This house price gap has been growing ever larger, with London experiencing 10.9% growth over the last year, compared to 4.2% across England and Wales.

The same picture is apparent in the private rented sector, with the the England rental rate runnings at £665 a month in January 2014, compared to £1,516 a month in London (128% higher than the England rate). The differential in local authority rented property is less exaggerated but still significant, with average rent across England running at £79 a week in 2012/13, compared to £99 in London (25% higher than the England average).

London Weighting is not the answerUnison’s Bargaining Support Unit undertook a review for 2013/14 into London Weighting across seven sectors, this ‘top up’ is pitiful compared to the cost differential.

But what can Lewisham do?

Next week I’ll be attending my new role on Lewisham’s Poverty Taskforce, alongside Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Trust for London, looking   This came off the back of work I undertook in my Lewisham Councillor Scrutiny role, 

The Committee will be pursuing the following issues:

  •  Tackling in-work poverty in the borough
  •  Tackling out-of-work poverty, namely for pensioners relying on state pensions
  •  Tackling poverty prevalent amongst young families struggling with a
    combination of housing and child care costs
  •  Ensuring residents are proactively informed about legislative changes that
    could impact both positively and negatively on their income and general
    financial welfare
  •  Staying up-to-date on legislative changes and advise on appropriate changes
    to the Council’s work accordingly.

2017 ‘Rent Affordability Index’

Table 1

Table 2


Living Standards and Wages crash under Tory Government

Osbourne says that the Torys saved the economy, but the average person is £1,500 worse off now than in 2010

Osbourne says that the Torys saved the economy, but the average person is £1,500 worse off now than in 2010

under the first 37 of 38 months under Camerson real Wages have fallen

under the first 37 of 38 months under Camerson real Wages have fallen

Since 2010, the rise in wages has been outstripped by the rise in rent

Since 2010, the rise in wages has been outstripped by the rise in rent

The rise in the cost of Heating our homes has been significantly higher than wages

The rise in the cost of Heating our homes has been significantly higher than wages

Government needs to do more for 1 in six children in total poverty

Major charities have come together to criticise the inaction and damaging domestic policies of David Cameron and Nick Cleggs Tory-Liberal coalition government.

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Over the last year 300,000 more families have fallen into extreme hardship, with their net family income at less than £250 per week or less

Anne Marie Carrie Chief Exec of Barnardo’s said the government was not doing enough to help families ‘at the tipping point between hardship and crisis’, she continued ‘families already budgeting on a shoe string, squeezed by the rising price if essentials and high childcare bills. Tis year many households will be pushed into financial chaos when the cap on benefit increases takes effect, compromising the health and life chances of children.’

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#Budget: The increase in the personal tax allowance will mean an income boost of just 32p a week for most of the lowest earning income tax payers.

Today the Chancellor announced a further increase in the personal tax allowance. He claims helps struggling families. But who benefits most?

 

Tax relief not supportive

The rise in the personal tax allowance mainly benefits the top income deciles. as shown by this chart produced by the Resolution Foundation: http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/blog/2013/Mar/20/easing-squeeze-tax-cut-all/

This policy does not help those at the bottom much because they either don’t pay tax, or get most of any extra allowance tapered back as their Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit is cut. The regressive nature of the policy is show in this Resolution Foundation chart.

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Average wages vary wildly, how do you fair?

New figures show that the average woman only earns £250 more than the £24,000 necessary to ensure your children don’t live in poverty, with male equivalents earning almost £6,500 more,

Rather than taking the official government statistics which are updated only every few years, salary experts PayScale.com are giving market insight into current remuneration based on a number of integers.

How well does your pay fair?

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