One in three jobs paying low wage

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More than one in three people working in the southern part of Blackpool are earning less than the ‘living wage’, new figures reveal.

The Blackpool South constituency is seventh worst in the country for the number of people who are earning less than £7.65 an hour, with 39.3 per cent of workers bringing in a lower wage.

There are 33,700 employee jobs in Blackpool South, according to The Office for National Statistics records, of which 13,244 earn below the living wage.

And services helping people provide for their families are reporting a marked increase in the number of workers seeking help.

Figures released by the TUC today show that nationally one in five jobs pays under the living wage and in the North West 21 per cent of workers are paid less.

Linda McEvilly founded Care and Share Blackpool, which helps needy families by passing on donated goods.

She said over the last two years there has been a steady increase in the number of working families asking for help. I’d say more than 50 per cent of the people we see are in work,” she said.

“Now people who are working are struggling more than those on benefits.”

The £7.65 per hour ‘living wage’ is set independently each year, based on the basic cost of living in the UK.

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden said: “The living wage initiative is something we should all be working towards.

“Increasingly in Blackpool we see people are not able to work a full 37 or 40 hour week because employers do not have the hours so to get the hourly rate right is even more important.”

In Blackpool North and Cleveleys 24.5 per cent of the working class is earning under the living wage. In Lancaster and Fleetwood 20.3 per cent of jobs pay lower than the living wage, and in Fylde it’s 18.7 per cent.

North West TUC Regional Secretary Lynn Collins said: “Working families are experiencing the biggest pressure on their living standards since Victorian times.

“The squeeze on pay is hurting families.”

Last year, Labour leader Ed Miliband said if his party won the next General Election, it would offer firms a 12-month tax break if they agree to pay the living wage.