Why key workers deserve the fairer wages they merit – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Rev Dr Kevin Barnard, The Wickets, Bradford.

What does the use of food banks say about Britain's economy?

KEY workers have been there for us. We need to be there for them.

The need for food banks in one of the wealthiest countries is a scandal and more scandalous is the fact a third of key workers had to use them in the pandemic.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

This shows the acceptance of a low-wage economy, which supports the income gap favouring the rich. After everything they’ve done for us, those most deserving and needing a pay rise are the least rewarded. But what we heard from the Prime Minister and Chancellor last week is far from that.

What does the use of food banks say about Britain's economy?

Key workers kept us going through the dark days of the pandemic and now face a pay freeze. When supermarkets needed to be stocked, they were there.

When the elderly needed care, they were there. When hospitals needed to be cleaned, they were there. And yet key workers still earn markedly less than the national average. This isn’t just about doing the right thing by our key workers. Analysis by the TUC shows how the economic recovery can be speeded up by reversing cuts to key workers’ pay, making pay rises for other workers more likely.

Parliamentary constituencies will get an average economic boost of £6.2m if real-terms pay cuts since 2010 are reversed.

The tax burden is increasingly falling on the poor.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is under pressure for ending the £20 a week Universal Credit uplift.

The richest derive most benefit from the provision made by the way our society functions and so should make the greatest contribution to the cost of maintaining that functioning. MPs need to listen and act. We shall all gain if key workers receive the pay rise they deserve.

From: Justin Enthoven, Pateley Bridge, Harrogate.

QUITE rightly there has been much concern about the decision by the “levelling-up” Government to withdraw the £20 increase to Universal Credit.

As a percentage of weekly income it is far more striking and worrying. For the last 13 years, Loughborough University’s Centre for Research in Social Policy has captured what the public considers to be a minimum living standard.

In 2021 they said a single person needed £213 a week, with
different amounts for households according to how many children and adults lived in them.

Therefore £20 represents approximately 10 per cent of a weekly income. How many people, in whatever income bracket, could comfortably meet their weekly needs with a 10 per cent reduction?

Support The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you’ll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app, receive exclusive members-only offers and access to all premium content and columns. Click here to subscribe.