Plans announced by the Prime Minister to “crackdown” on companies failing to pay the new national living wage have been described as “laughable” by the Green Party. Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett said:
“It’s laughable that the Tories are now trying to brand themselves as champions of the cause of workers. Not only are they planning to further tighten our already overly restrictive trade union laws that prevent workers from getting together to collectively fight for their rights, but they are failing to enforce even our existing inadequate minimum wage, failing to prosecute support checks on exploitative employers and gutting the strength of the essential Gangmasters Licensing Authority.
“It’s wrong to call this modest increase in the minimum wage a ‘living wage’, it falls short by 65 pence per hour of the basic level calculated by the Living Wage Foundation. And many workers are being forced to take up zero-hours contracts that don’t provides jobs they can live on or low-pay apprenticeships – in roles such as street sweeping, shop work and basic administration – that are simply disguised jobs and don’t offer the skills and experience to lead to a productive, decently paid career.”