Over a quarter of Doncaster workers earn less than the ‘living wage’

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More than one in four Doncaster workers earn less that the living wage, according to new figures released by the GMB union.

A total of 27.7 per cent of Doncaster jobs pay less than the living wage of £7.85 an hour, making the borough the lowest paid place in the region. 
The figures are estimates produced by the Office for National Statistics based on its 2014 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, and the figures have been analysed and ranked by GMB Doncaster North MP, Ed Miliband, said it was ‘disappointing’ that so many people in Doncaster earn less than the living wage.

The Labour leader continued: “I believe more of the borough’s employers should follow the example set by Doncaster Council, led by Labour’s excellent mayor Ros Jones, which has committed to paying its staff the Living Wage.

“My support for the Living Wage is about securing real improvement to people’s lives.

“And I believe government can do much more to work with employers to pay it.

“The Living Wage – currently set at £7.85 an hour – is not a passport to a life of luxury, but it will improve the lives of hard-working people doing some of the toughest jobs in Doncaster, and the rest of the country.”

Over a third - 34.6 per cent - of women in Doncaster earn less than £7.85 an hour, while 20.8 per cent of men in the borough do not earn the living wage.

An average of 24.3 per cent of jobs pay below the living wage in Yorkshire and the Humber, and the UK average is 21.7 per cent.

Don Valley MP, Caroline Flint, said of the figures: “It is not sign of healthy balanced economy or a thriving business community if firms cannot pay above minimum wage or rely entirely on zero hours contracts.

She continued: “We desperately need to give more Doncaster people the skills to earn decent money and to hold down permanent jobs that pay enough to provide a family life.

“More than one in four Doncaster workers are earning below a Living Wage and those people are overwhelmingly women and part-time workers. A Labour Government will offer tax breaks to firms who commit to pay the Living Wage. We will also progressively raise the minimum wage to £8 per hour.”