Dearne MP in bid to strengthen minimum wage

Michael Dugher MP
Michael Dugher MP

A Dearne area MP has voted in the House of Commons to strengthen the National Minimum Wage to help families in crisis.

The motion in the House, supported by Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher, called for the NMW to be strengthened, properly enforced, and have its value restored.

The NMW was introduced by Labour nearly 15 years ago to ensure people received fair compensation for work, boost living standards and tackle in-work poverty. But the problem of low pay has got worse in recent years and since 2010 the value of the NMW has declined by almost five per cent in real terms.

The motion called for the Government to encourage employers to pay a living wage. House of Commons Library figures recently estimated that 19 per cent of jobs for people living in Barnsley East in 2012 were paid below the living wage, meaning one in five people in Barnsley East would benefit if the Living Wage was paid by employers in the constituency.

The motion was tabled by Labour on January 15, but was unfortunately defeated by 64 votes, 299 to 235.

Michael Dugher, the MP for Barnsley East said: “I was more than happy to support the recent motion seeking to strengthen and restore the value of the National Minimum Wage.

“The living wage is a way in which we can support workers, to help them pay the bills. In the UK as many as five million people are paid less than the living wage of £7.45 and close to 20 per cent in Barnsley East earn less than the living wage.

“At a time when families are facing a cost-of-living crisis, the Government must take action to restore the value of the National Minimum Wage to ensure that it rises alongside the increasing cost of living.”