Protect jobs, incomes, lives and livelihoods
Wolverhampton SW CLP notes that Britain is experiencing the worst recession for over 300 years and has the fifth highest number of deaths in the world. The failure of this Conservative Government to contain the virus has led to too many deaths and has worsened the economic impacts.
The alarm bells on the devastating impacts on people's lives of this unfolding economic disaster are growing louder. The Trussell Trust expects to distribute six emergency food parcels per minute this winter. Unemployment is forecast to reach 7.5% - 2.5 million people - in 2021 and not return to pre-pandemic levels within the next 4 years.
The CLP believes the high unemployment and spiralling poverty forecast for 2021 is not an inevitable outcome from this pandemic and that urgent action can still avert this.
Wolverhampton SW CLP calls on the Labour Party, with organisations from across the labour movement and our communities, to put sustained pressure on this Government to take the measures that can protect people's jobs and incomes, lives and livelihoods. These must include:
• An increase in Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to £320 a week – the living wage – and make it available to all workers so people can afford to self-isolate. The current £96 a week is a fifth of average weekly earnings and 2 million who earn less than £120 a week are not even entitled to that. Even while the vaccine is being rolled out people will still need to self-isolate to prevent the virus spreading.
• A fix to furlough so that no one is paid less than minimum wage, it is unacceptable there are hundreds of thousands of the lowest paid receiving only 80% of the minimum wage.
• No cutting Universal Credit in April - cutting UC back £20 a week amounts to taking away £1000 a year from millions of low income households.
• An increase to public service wages and raising the minimum wage to £10 an hour. A pay cut in real terms – after a decade of real cuts - is a grave insult to millions of public service workers who cared for our loved ones during this crisis. Raising their wages and the minimum wage to £10 per hour would greatly assist in the fight against in-work poverty.
• Protect and create jobs; the TUC has shown investing £85 billion in green infrastructures would create 1.2 million jobs in 2 years and investing the resources public services need would create 600,000 jobs. This investment, alongside giving the packages of support sectors and businesses need – especially in Tier 3 areas – can prevent more job losses.