Caroline has joined with local businesses in celebrating Living Wage Week, with over 100 firms in Brighton and Hove signing up to the scheme.
The Green Party is committed to a national living wage – to be achieved by raising the minimum wage to 60% of net national average earnings.
In Brighton and Hove, the Green administration introduced the Living Wage for its employees immediately after its election. It was one of the first councils to do so, and is now Living Wage Foundation accredited.
Speaking at a Brighton Chamber of Commerce event to celebrate the Living Wage this week, Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said:
“I’m immensely proud of the overwhelming levels of support that employers in Brighton and Hove have lent to the Living Wage Campaign. In just two years, our city has made great strides, showing that even in a time of economic hardship, it is possible to tackle inequality while also promoting competitiveness.
“By paying their staff a living wage, local businesses are sending a clear message that everyone should earn enough to cover the cost of living.”
The Green-led Council, with the support of the local Chamber of Commerce, also set up a voluntary Living Wage Campaign to encourage businesses to pay their staff at least £7.45 per hour. More than 100 employers, large and small, have now signed up.
Cllr Bill Randall, leader of the Green Council when the campaign was launched, said: “The Brighton and Hove Living Wage campaign is one of the most successful in the UK, and has been a key part of our drive to reduce inequality in the city.
“We led the way by introducing the Living Wage for our lowest paid staff. Working with unions and the business community we also set up a Living Wage Commission to explore the benefits, risks and opportunities of implementing a local living wage. We then asked the Brighton & Hove Chamber of Commerce to take over the campaign. I thank it for the excellent work it has done to promote the Living Wage among public, private and third sector organisations to the cause.