Half-a-million workers in London are currently paid below the London Living Wage - the amount needed to meet the basic cost of living in the city. Over the 10 years to 2012, the number of people in in-work poverty in London increased by 440,000. The poverty rate in London is higher than in the rest of the country. People are being forced to accept low paid work on increasingly long hours with little return.
While for most pay is barely rising at the rate of inflation, last year the average pay of the FTSE100 directors grew by 14%.
Incomes in London are more unequal than in any other region. The coalition says “we’re all in it together” but they’re just speaking for the bankers, oligarchs, and for themselves. Rather than tackling the real problems – growing inequality and mounting poverty – the government is turning the public against each-other whilst cutting gaping holes in the welfare safety net and slashing investment in public services, resulting in job losses and wage freezes.
Greens will fight for:
We want to see the introduction of a mandatory Living to ensure even the lowest paid workers earn enough to support themselves and their families.
Our goal is to create a society in which the maximum wage at any company never exceeds 10 times the lowest.
A fairer taxation system will help us redistribute wealth more evenly whilst ensuring those earning the most do their bit to help support wider society – an opportunity we believe they should be proud of.
We will would introduce a new higher rate of income tax at 50% for incomes above £100,000 per year.
We will introduce a Wealth Tax on the top 1%, those with assets over £3 million.
In the European Parliament our Green MEP for London Jean Lambert
along with her fellow Green MEPs has already succesfully pushed through legislation capping on bankers’ bonuses at an EU level. In April 2014 Jean helped oversee the introduction of rules designed to protect foreign workers posted overseas from ruthless employers. The legislation on “Posted Workers” protects them from tax scams, ensures they are paid the minimum wage, and are given holidays.
Our local Green Councillors
in Camden and Lewisham successfully pushed their councils to commit to ensuring that all its employees and contractors earn at least the Living Wage. The Green Party as a whole is proud to be itself a Living Wage employer.
In the London Assembly our Green AMs Jenny Jones and Darren Johnson
have secured funding for the establishment of a Living Wage which has put £60m in the pockets of low paid workers. In 2012 they successfully lobbied Boris Johnson to introduce London Living Wage specifically for those working in this high cost of living city.
Vote to elect Green MPs in London, and they will be able to build on the work of Green MP Caroline Lucas
who was awarded “MP of the Year” by the Patchwork Foundation in recognition of her work in parliament to represent deprived communities from the city of Brighton. Caroline also secured a debate in the House of Commons that called on the government to do more to tackle corporate tax dodging and to support those firms that have been awarded the Fair Pay Mark.
Our Next Meeting
Our next monthly meeting is on Monday 18 February at 7pm (doors open at 6.30pm) at Living Space Waterloo, 1 Coral Street, SE1 7BE. Agenda to follow but we hope many of our candidates for London Assembly list will be there to share campaign ideas.