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Video: Shadow chancellor Ed Balls says Lotus jobs shock leaves questions unanswered on trip to Norwich

11:54 01 October 2014

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls chats to Neide Beck, cleaning supervisor with Interserve, and Stuart Wright, member of the national living wage council, during his visit to Aviva

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls chats to Neide Beck, cleaning supervisor with Interserve, and Stuart Wright, member of the national living wage council, during his visit to Aviva's Marble Hall to talk about paying a living wage. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

copyright: Archant 2014

Has the government done enough to support Lotus and has the Norfolk car manufacturer done enough with the millions of pounds it received from the regional growth fund to save jobs here in the county?

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls raised those questions on a visit to Norwich last night and vowed that the Labour Party would do what it could to put pressure on the government to help the Norfolk sports car manufacturer, which recently announced plans to make 325 staff redundant – a figure equal to 27pc of its global workforce.

Mr Balls said: “Lotus has always been a very important employer here in Norwich and Norfolk and has been around a very long time. It’s clearly working in a very competitive environment around the world and they’re saying they’ve got to cut their costs and who are we to second guess those business decisions.

“We want to make sure have to make sure the government does everything it can to back businesses to succeed. I think there’s a real question – has the government done enough to support Lotus and has Lotus done enough from the money it had from the regional growth fund to secure jobs here in the city?

“That’s something I’m sure MPs and government ministers should be asking about and something Labour will put the pressure on about.”

Mr Balls was speaking on a visit to Aviva in the city where he learnt how the living wage was making a “massive difference” to employees.

He said: “The Living Wage Week here in Norwich is coming up in just a months time and its really striking talking to employees here at Aviva - it’s made a real difference to their lives. We’re talking to people employed in the cleaning side and catering side, their wages have gone up and they are saying for the first time they can save and afford to travel and go back and see family so its had a big impact.”

Mr Balls said it was great to see Aviva utilising the living wage to boost morale among its workforce but also praised the city as a whole for the way it has embraced the idea.

He said: “It’s great to see Aviva taking the lead but actually its Norwich taking the lead – it’s being embraced right across the city and its great to see Norwich leading the campaign to make work pay for working people across the city.”

The living wage aims to better reflect the cost of living by paying staff £7.65 per hour instead of the national minimum wage of £6.31.

Have you got a business story? Email ben.woods@archant.co.uk

11 comments

  • taking advice from labour is like asking bernie madoff where to invest your money

    Report this comment

    Link Hylian

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • Peter Watson - it is not Aviva that is paying the living wage as opposed to the minimum wage. Its the firm they have contracted to do the catering and cleaning. Don`t forget the "family" they are talking about live in Europe. Which follows it is EU citizens they are employing, not the indigenous population which means money flowing out of this country instead of it being spent here. Nice to the Labour PPC got her picture in the EDP - again!

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • Let's make Norwich a living wage city.If Aviva sees the business sense in the benefits of a more motivated workforce,reduced recruitment and retention costs and reduced costs of sickness absence by paying the living wage why don't other Norwich businesses follow suit?

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • Get back,get back where you belong and take your Labour candidate with you.Chloe is business spokesperson around here.Cheeky monkey

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • this is labour pretending they care about the british people . For thirteen years they didnt give a damn . All they cared about was immigration

    Report this comment

    billy smith

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • what about the deficit ed balls . Your other mate milliband forgot to mention it . Just a minor detail

    Report this comment

    billy smith

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • Were have you been for the last 25 years This company has had more ups and downs then a yo yo And as of given millions to a no UK owned company thinking it save jobs wot planet do you really live on

    Report this comment

    johnboy4850

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • this is a bit rich from labour . When in power three out of four new jobs created went to people from outside the uk . Ed wont mention it but i will

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • As a PS Aviva is not paying the living wage it is the company who do the catering and cleaning. They are not employees of Aviva. Get it right Anabelle.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • If the living wage is such a good idea why did Labour ever introduce the minimum wage which was far too low for people to live on and had to be supported by a whole raft of benefits, tax credits and add ons. Which meant the tax payer was, and still is, bank rolling a low paid work force. No wonder employers love it because it gives them a part time work force available at time of demand. As far as Lotus is concerned it has always been sacking employees and then rehiring them. That`s never going to change with that company. I would have thought Balls would have known that.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

  • what about the questions which still need to be answered by labour about the scandel in rotherham ed balls

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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

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