LETTER: Living wage

Dear Maria Caulfield

CC Sussex Express

As promoters of Lewes for a Living Wage, we were heartened to read that you have been speaking on behalf of the poorly paid workers in the public sector such as nurses. You cite your own experience of what it is like for nurse colleagues who have to work extra shifts just to survive.

As you know, Living Wage for Lewes has been arguing during the past three years for a real living wage. All the evidence shows that earning £7.50 an hour (and only for those over 25) is not adequate for hard working families to live on. In Lewes at least 20 per cent of our children are living in poverty. Lewes food banks, like others across the country, are helping families to eke out poor wages, including those working in the care sector.

We are sure you are aware of the latest JRF Minimum Income Standard (MIS) report published; www.jrf.org.uk/press/living-standards-squeeze-tightens.

Working families being paid the national living wage are still worse off after a reduction in tax credits and increases in living costs, taxes and national insurance.

We hope to hear you speaking up for a rise in the Government’s so-called ‘living wage, as you have done so ably for an end to the seven-year pay freeze for public sector workers.

Linda Lamont

On behalf of Lewes for a Living Wage

East Street