Time for Better Pay campaign launch

Last week I hosted the launch of Usdaw’s Time for Better Pay campaign in the Assembly. The campaign aims to address the causes of in-work poverty and develop an economy where going to work guarantees that people can afford a basic standard of living.

 

Usdaw surveyed over 10,500 members to understand the issues that they face as a result of low pay, shorter hour contracts and insecure work.

Some of the results in this report are quite shocking. For example, three quarters of workers are relying on loans and borrowing to pay essential bills and two thirds say financial worries are impacting on their mental health.”

Speaking in the chamber afterwards, I asked the Minister for Finance for an update on what the Welsh Government is doing to tackle in-work poverty.

Minister Rebecca Evans said: “I’d like to pay tribute to the work that Usdaw does in terms of being a really strong voice for its members. I think that this report is particularly hard hitting. It tells us the impact that low pay has on people, unsteady jobs have on people and unfair contracts have on people. So, in terms of what we can do to it to respond to it, I would very much look to our commitment to making Wales a fair work nation and the work that we’re doing through the Fair Work Commission to make recommendations to us on how we can improve what we’re already doing, how we can use the levers that we have, but also to explore what other additional steps might be needed, for example, including legislation in future. So, this report will certainly be an important consideration for that commission that is due to come forward with recommendations in March of this year.”

 

I believe in-work poverty is a major crisis of our time. The Time for Better Pay campaign is necessary to help individuals and families across Wales and the UK. We need an economy that works for working people; where going to work guarantees that people can afford a basic standard of living.