LABOUR leader Ed Miliband believes his plans for a ‘living wage’ would benefit Doncaster families.
He wants companies to pledge to pay at least £7.20 an hour – compared to the legal minimum wage of £6.19.
Doncaster North MP Mr Miliband announced the initiative as a key plank of his One Nation plan for Britain, at the start of Living Wage Week, with events around the country.
He said: “I’m proud the last Labour government introduced the minimum wage, but now it’s time for employers here in Doncaster – and across the country – to take the next step.
“An individual earning the living wage is afforded not only a better standard of living, but also a better quality of life. It would allow many families in our area to afford things beyond the bare essentials.”
Where taken up, sickness rates fall and job satisfaction rises, said Mr Miliband.
“It also makes economic sense for employers, as workers paid the living wage tend to be better motivated, less likely to be reliant on benefits and are more likely to spend the extra money in the local economy,” he added.
The current living wage rates are £8.30 an hour in London and £7.20 in the rest of the country, compared with the national minimum wage of £6.19 for adults.
Since the Living Wage was introduced in 2005, an estimated 11,500 workers have benefited.
A newly-designed trademark that recognises and accredits employers who pay it has been published.
The Living Wage Foundation said it hoped the mark would become as recognisable as the Fair Trade logo.
Rhys Moore, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said the movement was growing as more employers realised the benefits of paying the rate.