I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Wirral Council on its new Living Wage initiative announced last week to offer discounted business rates to those businesses who pay their staff the Living Wage.

Back in 2012 Wirral Council became the first local Authority on Merseyside to make sure that its own employees were paid the Living Wage so this latest step by the Council really demonstrates the Labour led local authority’s commitment to improving pay for local workers.

As an MP it is really important to me to see local businesses being supported and to see local workers receiving a decent wage to provide for themselves and their families so this news is something I very much welcome.

As Leader of Wirral Council Cllr Phil Davies has pointed out paying staff a living wage can enhance their quality of work and decrease absenteeism.

I believe it is really important that workers feel valued in their jobs and that their pay reflects this. The result of this has benefits for both staff and businesses.

Wirral Council are really leading the way when it comes to paying staff the Living Wage. Larger firms in Wirral could save as much as £5,000, with varying discounts for smaller companies who pay adult employees £7.85 an hour. 

I know that low pay, insecure work and the cost of everyday living remains an issue for many people living in Wirral South and this is why I support Wirral Council in their efforts to both emphasise and demonstrate the importance of paying the Living Wage by offering such incentives.

A report on the Living Wage discount for businesses will be discussed by Cabinet on June 29th 2015 as part of a debate on non-domestic rates. 

By Alison McGovern MP

For Wirral News 

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