23rd February 2015
Jamie Reed MP, Member of Parliament for Copeland and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, is today speaking at a Trades Union Congress (TUC) seminar in Carlisle, as part of a campaign for fair pay.
The TUC is holding the event as part of their Fair Pay Fortnight. This involves two weeks of campaigning on the cost of living crisis faced by millions of people in Britain, where people are seeing their living standards squeezed by rising prices and rents, but their wages are stagnating.
Jamie Reed will be joined at the seminar by Cllr Lee Sherriff, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Carlisle, Beth Farhat, Northern TUC regional secretary, and Andy Auld from the Carlisle and Eden Citizens Advice Bureau.
Copeland MP and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed MP said:
“Only Labour can tackle the scandal of low pay. We will increase the National Minimum Wage, to ensure that low paid workers who put in a hard day’s work are rewarded for doing so, and to cut the costs of failure in our social security system. The National Minimum Wage is one of Labour’s proudest achievements, and a Labour government will take radical, ambitious action and stand up for all those on low pay.”
“1.4 million people in Britain are now having to work on zero-hours contracts. Labour are committed to tackling those exploitative zero-hours contracts that cause workers insecurity at work. People are unable to plan their lives due to their uncertain work hours, and because they have no guaranteed hours, they have no guaranteed income. This situation can’t go on.
“Families in my constituency and across the country are now £1,600 worse off every year because of the actions of this government, and wages have fallen for full-time workers by over £2,000 a year. We are finding that more and more people in work just can’t make work pay, so are turning to foodbanks for help. In Copeland alone, around 2,000 people are now relying on foodbanks, a number which has increased by a third since 2012/13.
“I have spoken out in parliament about the effects of the government’s welfare reforms on my constituents, and the government’s legacy is one of a growing class of working poor. The rise in foodbank usage, pay-day loans, and zero-hours contracts are all a shocking indictment of this government’s appalling record on living standards.
“People will be worse off at the end of a Parliament than they were at the start of it for the first time since the 1920s. For all the Tory boasts that the economy is growing, we know that this does not reflect the reality of people’s everyday lives in Cumbria. Only a Labour government will take immediate action to solve the cost of living crisis and make work pay once again.”