As living costs continue to rise across the UK, Green MEP Jean Lambert has today demanded that the Government replace the national minimum wage with a living wage ensuring that workers can make ends meet and escape poverty.
Jean, who is a member of the European Parliament's Employment and Social Affairs Committee and Green MEP for London, has continued to campaign for fair pay for fair hours and welcomed Ken Livingstone's introduction of the London living wage, currently set at £7.05.
Today Jean called on the Prime Minister to implement a living wage right across the country. As she signed a petition supporting the issue Jean commented; "British people work some of the longest hours in Europe yet 7 out of 10 people working over 48 hours per week say they would like to work fewer hours. For many however this is impossible as they simply cannnot afford to do so.
"It is currently possible for someone to work more than 60 hours a week and still be paid less than £11,000 per year. The number of people living below the poverty line in the UK is higher than the EU average and continues to increase.
"The long hours culture is endangering our health and acting as a detriment
to our family life. We can't have a culture that says you can not rest. We need
a national living wage immediatley to ensure this changes and everyone can make
ends meet without working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
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Morwenna Holland, Media Officer
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Notes to editors:
Jean Lambert: In October 2005 Jean was named MEP 2005 for Justice and Human Rights. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections. She was re-elected in 2004. She is one of nine MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament.