Around 15,000 jobs in Milton Keynes are paying less than the living wage, according to new figures from the House of Commons Library to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the National Minimum Wage.
Labour is now calling on Milton Keynes Council to lead the way in promoting fair pay by becoming a Living Wage employer, joining other living wage employers in the city like KPMG and the Open University.
Across the country, around five million people get paid less than the living wage, including around 15,000 employees in Milton Keynes - 11.6% of the workforce in the city. Nearly a third of part-time workers are paid less than the living wage in the city. The Living Wage is currently set at £7.65 for workers in Milton Keynes.
Labour used the 15th anniversary of the National Minimum Wage which came into force on 1 April 1999 to highlight the scale of low pay in the borough, and to call for a renewed effort to extend fair pay in the city.
Labour candidate for the European elections in Milton Keynes, Anneliese Dodds, joined local campaigners at the weekend to mark the 15th anniversary of the National Minimum Wage.
Cllr Pete Marland, Leader of MK Labour Group, added: "These figures show why MK Council should be leading the way in becoming a Living wage Borough and supporting employers who pay the living wage."
Andrew Pakes, Labour & Co-operative Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South added: “Extending the living wage is a vital way to lift living standards and tackle the growing problem of in-work poverty. Despite increasing economic confidence, too many people are still struggling to make ends meet, and we need to ensure the benefits of growth are felt across the borough. Big employers like KPMG and the Open University have already signed up to pay the living wage, and momentum is building across the borough to raise the standard for fair pay.”
Anneliese Dodds commented: "It's great to be celebrating the National Minimum Wage's 15th birthday today. My first job was paid £2 an hour- and I'm pleased that those days are gone. Although the Conservative Party argued against the National Minimum Wage, saying it would cost jobs, in practice it has lifted thousands of low-paid people out of poverty over the last decade and a half.”
You can read more details on how many people are paid less than the living wage by clicking here.