Croydon Labour commits to a living wage??
Electioneering has started. Recognising the damage being done to living standards by the austerity policies of the Tory-Liberal government - policies which Labour nationally has said it will continue! - Croydon Labour is, “taking a lead on securing fair pay across the borough” according to an official statement.
Is Croydon taking a leaf from the TUSC agenda? Surely this is to be welcomed?
Croydon Labour’s policy is ringed with caveats. It is not proposing a £10 an hour minimum, but £8.80. The statement from Croydon says that the extra £2.49 has been calculated to “cover the basic costs of living”. However, according to the statement, only a “handful” of people are not already on £8.80!
Given the amount that workers have lost in wages and public services since the banks were bailed out, what Croydon Labour are proposing is a tuppence ha’penny sop!
It is also somewhat cynical. Living standards for the majority fell also under Blair and Brown’s "Labour" Government and under the previous Croydon Labour council!
As elections beckon, Croydon Labour seems to have just discovered that it is not possible to live decently on £6.31. But, surely, it is hardly possible to live decently on £8.80 either! (We wonder what Croydon’s chief officers get paid…)
And what about those people not directly employed by the borough? “Wherever possible the council will make it a requirement of its contractors that their staff are paid at least the living wage”. Wherever possible? New contracts, will have the living wage "principle” built in. These are weasel words.
With no sense of embarrassment Tony Newman, a key member of Ed Moribund’s party, a party committed to continued austerity and cuts in services, says, “We are determined to root out inequality.”
Croydon Labour will need to do much more than this to turn back the tide of pro-big business policies of the Tories and the previous “Labour” governments!
Will they halt all cuts in jobs and services? Will they freeze rents? Will they kick-off a massive building programme of truly affordable houses and flats? Will they take back under council control schools and outsourced housing programmes? Will they stop all charges and fees for things like sports centres? Don't hold your breath!