PRESS RELEASE: Labour Candidates say “Britain Needs a Payrise”

Rachel Burgin, Labour PPC for Hitchin & Harpenden, and Chris York Labour PPC for North East Hertfordshire attended the Britain Needs a Payrise rally in London along with 10s of thousands of others.

Rachel Burgin said “Britain is enduring the longest and deepest fall in real wages since the 1860s. I have met many people in the Hitchin & Harpenden constituency who earn less – in absolute terms – than they did several years ago. 19.6% of people in this constituency don’t even earn the Living Wage.[1] This is notwithstanding hikes in rail fares, escalating housing costs and increasing food prices. That is why we have foodbanks opening, why loan sharks are doing roaring trade and why the churches are looking to establish a CAP debt centre in Hitchin.

So, Labour are proposing to increase the minimum wage to £8 per hour and tackle zero hours contracts. More fundamentally, Labour will have a proper industrial strategy and train millions more apprentices capable of undertaking skilled work on decent wages. This “race to the bottom” must stop.

Chris York said “Under Sir Oliver Heald’s government, the people of this country (excluding those at the top) have had to endure the longest decline in real wages since Victorian times.

“This government must sit up and take notice. Their plan simply hasn’t worked and has essentially left millions of people worse off. Instead of dealing with the cost of living crisis, they gift their chums with tax breaks, putting millions into their pockets.

“People of North East Herts deserve to be paid a decent wage, with more than a quarter being paid less than the living wage whilst many corporate fat cat bosses are stealing from the state by not paying their taxes. Recent figures show that most bosses have enjoyed a 23% salary increase while the workers have not had any pay increases., The Tories boast about creating new jobs, but many people are on zero hour contracts, which only forces them further into poverty and despair.

“Britain needs a future that’s fair and the Tories have shown yet again that it won’t happen under their watch.”