The fight to snare better pay deals for Norwich’s thousands of workers who live in poverty received unanimous backing last night.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

Norwich City Council Infographic Norwich City Councils Labour cabinet vowed to work with businesses to ensure people received a better pay rate of 7.20 per hour, known as the living wage, which is based on the basic cost of living.

It is hoped this will reduce the benefits bill, decrease peoples individual debts and encourage more spending in the city economy. This rate also increases every year.

Estimates suggest 24,500 of Norwichs 81,600 workers are paid less than 7.35 per hour.

Of these employees, 8,160 are thought to earn below 6.43 per hour. The minimum hourly wage for people aged over 21 is 6.19.

The city councils report also suggests residents who are full-time employees in Norwich earn 12pc lower than the national median earnings, which stood at 26,200 in 2011 according to government figures.

Alan Waters, cabinet member for finance, said last night this was only the start of the process but he hopes securing living wage status will act as a catalyst for change across the city.

He said: I think everyone will be aware of the fact we have a lot of people who work but are in poverty and they rely on benefits, one kind or another, working tax credits, housing benefit, council tax benefit, to bring their income up to a point where they are either out of poverty or still in poverty. This is the beginning of the journey.

The city council will need to ensure all of its workers are paid a living wage before it receives the go-ahead.

The authority says it has ensured all staff it directly appoints have been protected from low pay since 1990.

But it estimates up to 95,000 could be needed to ensure council contractors pay their staff a living wage. The city council indirectly employs more than 400 workers through contracts - such as street cleaners - although only around 50 are believed to be paid below the living wage.

The Green Party has been campaigning for change for several years and their leader Claire Stephenson welcomed last nights proposal. Liberal Democrat group leader James Wright said: All evidence suggests all people in receipt of living wage spend it locally.

9 comments

  • city 1st, nuLabour are full of double speech and spin. plebs like yourself should get into line and thank your lucky stars that a cheaper version migrant hasn't stolen your bin job...yet!!...foot note nuLabour abandoned folk like yourself years ago.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • nrg,if a migrant wants my job they can have it but i doubt they would be cheaper as i'm on minimum wage you pleb.

    Report this comment

    city 1st

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • If there was a Living Wage and not a Minimum Wage it would seem obvious that the Government would spend less on 'topping up', would earn more on Income Tax, and people would have a bit more to spend to support local businesses. In this day and age I can't think of any reason why every working person should not be earning enough to live on. Small businesses may say that they can't afford to pay more - and this may be the case - but if so could there not be some scheme where the business gets help with the wage bill - so instead of more people being out of work and claiming benefits the money is re-directed to businesses to make sure that jobs are available. It is better for a person's health and well being to be working if they can - and with older workers having to work much longer before they can afford to retire there has to be some way of encouraging job-development or where will the young people go. It is them I worry about as getting a start leads to a better quality of life, and builds self esteem.

    Report this comment

    MrsP

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • This is all a bit rich coming from Labour. They created the low wage culture because they legislated for the minimum wage. Employers know full well that the government will make up the difference by a plethora of benefits so why pay more than they are forced to. If the British worker won`t work for peanuts then there are plenty of people from the EU who will. The ones I feel sorry for are those who have no children and consequently do not get their wages topped up by the government. They have to work a full week unlike those on benefits who will only do 24 hours. The "I can`t do anymore hours or I will lose my benefits," brigade.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Theres a good number of call centre operations making good money for their directors & paying their staff minimum wage. They wonder why they cant keep them!

    Report this comment

    Mr Majika

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • @BG All the polls assessing the last Labour government found the minimum wage was universally the most popular measure of the BlairBrown years.You ought to recall the fact that before the minimum wage one and a half million people were paid £1.50p per hour or less.The campaign for the living wage is proving to be just as effective.All the Tories can offer is an end to employment rights and protections.

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  • So lets see; Norwich City council award a one year deal to Biffa to clean streets etc. The contract is worth £5m, however, Biffa has no tools or brooms...again the bott*mless pit of the taxpayer buys the brooms etc for a staggering £484,560. Alas, the tight fisted Biffa pays peanuts to some of its workers,while reaping in shedloads of cash...then all of a sudden nuLabour numpties discover a guilty conscience....again the taxpayer soothes the nasty pain to a tune of £95,000...Biffa must laughing all the way to the bank.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Great can the council start with us poor souls who are out in all weathers emptying people's bins for £6.12 per hour. They want the contract done on the cheap but us employes are the ones who suffer by being paid a paltry wage, maybe they should try living on minimum wage .

    Report this comment

    city 1st

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

  • Who are the working poor ? just get on with life no victim status !

    Report this comment

    Albert Cooper

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Norfolk Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 6°C

Five-day forecast

loading...

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT