Speaking following the launch of a NICVA report on the living wage, the Foyle MLA said;
“For the first time, there are now more people in work who are living in poverty than those out of work.
“The casualisation of labour, through low pay, zero hour contracts, growing self-employment and under-employment, presents an ever-growing challenge to those of us concerned with the rights of working people.
In July of this year the new Derry and Strabane Council unanimously supported our party’s call for adoption for a living wage to be introduced.
“The introduction of a living wage would stimulate economic growth by increasing gross wages by £221 million, lead to the creation of 2,500 jobs and deliver a £1,300 annual pay rise for 173,000 low-paid workers.
“It would also lead to a reduced reliance on in-work benefits such as working tax credits and housing benefits and lead to increased productivity among workers.
“We need to work collectively to eradicate poverty traps.
“One of the first steps that need to be taken is that all jobs created with Invest NI support or through public procurement contracts should be paid at or above the living wage.