Sinn Féin Counciilor Kevin Campbell has stated that the results of the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) serves to highlight the need for a living wage.
Councillor Campbell said
“Sinn Féin has consistently pointed out the growing gap between those who are getting richer and those workers whose living standards are continually being eroded. We were the first Party on record calling for the introduction of a living wage.
“The publication of this ASHE survey paints a very bleak picture in terms of the average earnings for families across the north and validates our proposal for a living wage.
“While it can be claimed that the economy is showing signs of a slight recovery, it is clear that the working poor and those citizens dependent on benefits are not seeing any improvement in their living standards. Any measurable growth would seem to be the preserve of the already well-off across our society.
“These figures clearly show a trend towards low-paid jobs which can only perpetuate dependence on in work benefits. This dependency does not improve the lives of workers but allows for increased profit margins for those employers who refuse to pay a living wage.
“In order to address the problem of increased working poor, we need to see the introduction of a living wage for all workers and the abolition of zero hour contracts.”
In 2014 people deserve to be paid a decent wage and Sinn Féin believes that introducing the living wage will ensure that the lowest-paid workers will enjoy a better quality of life.