Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Low pay, part time work, life on the breadline the realities of life in East Lancashire

David Cameron and his out of touch Government like to claim that things are getting better, and that the actions they have taken have led to a booming economy shared by all. However the reality behind this spin is very different, and some new figures have shown that the North West and Hyndburn is facing a different situation to the one painted by David Cameron.

According to the Office for National Statistics, all five of the Parliamentary constituencies in East Lancashire have more people on low pay, in every type of employment, than in the rest of the country.

In Hyndburn 27.1% of the workforce are earning an hourly rate which is below the living wage – £7.65 outside of London. This is the wage which someone needs to earn in order to cover the basic costs of living.

But it becomes much more concerning when you look at the detail and makeup of the workforce. For instance, the proportion of females who earn less than the living wage is even higher, at 35.9%.

Though 21.1% of full time workers are earning less than the living wage in Hyndburn, amongst part time workers this is a staggering 52.7%. Though there are some reasons for this in some instances such as those doing very casual work, in most cases people working part time want to work more hours and more money. It is therefore very worrying that over half of my constituents in part time work are not earning a living wage.

Under Cameron, we are working longer hours, for less money.

It is a continuation of what we saw in 2012 when Accrington made national front page news because we have the highest proportion of people who are living on the breadline. 30% of people were one unexpectedly high bill away from being put into official poverty.

These new figures give some explanation as to why that is the case, and puts some of David Cameron's claims that we are all in it together, and that we are all benefitting from an economic recovery in perspective.