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Friday 20th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

by Felicity Collier

SHEFFIELD was dubbed Britain’s “low-pay capital” in a study published by the Resolution Foundation yesterday.

The report on living standards found that workers in the Sheffield City Region suffer a “pay penalty” amounting to a loss of £1,750 a year, compared to workers elsewhere in the country.

Hourly wage rates are set at £1.15 less than the nationwide average.

The foundation said this was partly due to the region being dominated by low-paying, low productivity sectors such as office administration and retail work.

While one in seven workers benefited from the Tories’ contrick “national living wage” when it was introduced last April, there are fears that the minimum wage will become the going rate for many unless action is taken by 2020.

Those who stand to be worst affected include women, any workers under 30 and half of part-time staff.

Labour MP for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough Gill Furniss labelled the situation “a disgrace and an injustice.”

She told the Star: “Sheffield has a proud record of productivity and innovation. There is absolutely no reason at all why workers in Sheffield should be disadvantaged.”

Ms Furniss said the report showed that a minimum wage was needed in Sheffield. “The Conservatives’ failed policy of austerity has brought us to this low-wage economy, where productivity is stagnating,” she added.

GMB regional secretary for Yorkshire and North Derbyshire Neil Derrick also blamed the Tories for Sheffield’s struggling economy and comdemned the party’s Northern Powerhouse strategy as a “gimmick in place of a plan, used to mask their serial neglect and contempt for Yorkshire.”