Local Labour chairman slams Lichfield District Council Tories over living wage

The chairman of the Lichfield Labour branch has criticised the Conservatives’ decision not to introduce a living wage for Lichfield District Council workers.

Colin Ball believes all employees should be earning the current pay standardisation rate of £7.85.

“Lichfield District Council should introduce the living wage for its workers,” he said. “I’ve written a letter calling on the authority to introduce the living wage.

“Cllr Wilcox’s reasons for not introducing the living wage are silly considering the number of council workers involved.

“Paying people the living wage is an effective way to reduce poverty and decrease families dependency on food banks.”

However, Cllr Wilcox believes it isn’t the right time to make the change.

He explained: “The Government are introducing a new living wage from next year and there’s only a small amount of people not already above that level who are with us.

“It’s such a small number affected, that before too long I anticipate that everyone will be above that anyway.

“We would be doubling up the work to do it now and then do it again next year.”

Simon Partridge, Green Party spokesman for the Lichfield and Burntwood branch, believes all employees should be entitled to the living wage.

“We support the living wage for all workers, it was a main stay of our 2015 general election manifesto,” he said. “We would have raised the rate considerably higher than the Conservatives plan to.

“The Green Party believes that people shouldn’t be dependent on the Government to subsidy their wages, so they can afford to eat and pay their rent.”

NCTJ-trained reporter with experience in a wide variety of journalism settings.