A vision of the future, where Milton Keynes is a Living Wage Zone, was celebrated by business and civic leaders from across the city today.
Council leader Pete Marland was joined by the likes of the Open University, the National House Building Council, auditors KPMG, and the Bishop of Buckingham, to hear about the impact of the living wage.
The national Living Wage is currently £7.85, compared with the minimum wage of £6.50 per hour. It is calculated independently every year according to the basic cost of living, and has been praised for raising living standards while benefitting employers by cutting absenteeism.
Tracy Schembre, pastry chef at the Open University, said: “Me and my husband both work full-time to make ends meet, so family trips to the cinema and bowling have been few and far between.
“Now I have the living wage we can put that extra money aside so once a month we can now have a family day out without worry, which in turn has brought our family unit closer and happier together.”
Sharon Summers, HR manager for NHBC, will say: “We decided to become an accredited living wage employer because as an ethical company we believe passionately that people should be paid a fair wage for a fair day’s work.
“Living Wage is one of the things that attracts talent to NHBC and helps demonstrate to our customers and suppliers that we are a good company to do business with.”
Council leader Pete Marland said: “Milton Keynes has been behind the curve of workforce reform and it is time to ensure every worker gets a decent day’s pay. MK should become the first Living Wage city.”
Conservatives are pleased to support implementation of the Living Wage for Council Staff and promote Living Wage amongst all employers where this is affordable.
Edith Bald, Conservative group leader at Milton Keynes Council, said: “ I fully endorse this policy and have been an active supporter of it. It is a win-win formula for staff, employers and the economy overall.
“We should not underestimate the impact that paying a reasonable rate for the job has on staff morale and productivity. Conservative Mayor Boris Johnson is a huge advocate of this policy in London so we are in good company.”