Fairness Commission Calls For Living Wage As Report Published
Thursday 27th September 2012The York Fairness Commission today (Thursday 27th September) has published its report on tackling inequality, poverty and unfairness in York.
Following extensive consultation and assessment of evidence, the Fairness Commission has made seven headline recommendations. The Commission hopes these recommendations will be adopted by City of York Council and they will make a significant and long term impact on fairness in the city.
Ruth Redfern, Chair of the York Fairness Commission, said:
“Our first report was completed in November 2011. Its focus was on influencing and advising City of York Council on its budget setting process, squaring the need to make the sizeable cuts forced upon the council with commitment to equity and social justice. We are pleased that key recommendations from that report have been taken up by the Council – and we hope that our detailed recommendations today will also be actioned.
“This final report takes our work a step further by considering how to promote fairness in the long term and across the whole of York. We believe that reducing inequality, particularly of wealth and incomes, and standing up for and empowering those who are most vulnerable in society will not only increase fairness, but will create benefits to society as a whole.”
The seven headline recommendations contained in the report are:
A: Make York a Living Wage City and inspire Yorkshire to become a Living Wage Region.
B: Deliver an inclusive approach to economic development that creates jobs, tackles worklessness, and ensures all of York’s citizens can contribute and prosper.
C: Create a simple and shared system to get help and advice to people, including an easy to access central information hub, outreach centres and promotional activity.
D: Urgently address the city’s housing and accommodation needs to improve availability and affordability for all, and to support sustainable economic growth, backed by a long term strategic framework.
E: Make far greater use of early intervention, preventative measures and community based care to support health, independent living and inclusion.
F: Ensure childcare, the learning environment and education help to tackle inequalities.
G: Further assess the full range of ideas and proposals for action made in the report and agree mechanisms for taking them forward.
The presentation of the report is the culmination of months of work to see how inequality and unfairness can be tackled across York, in the face of a difficult economic situation nationally.
Whilst research shows two fifths of York residents are relatively well off, living in the best 20% of places in the country, around 13,000 residents in the City live in the most deprived 20% of the country. In addition, City of York Council must make £19.7m worth of savings over the next two years due to cuts imposed by central government.
A copy of the Full Report can be downloaded at: www.yorkfairnesscommission.org.uk
Dr Sentamu, Sponsor of the Fairness Commission, said:
“The Fairness Commission has worked long and hard to see how we can deliver a more caring, more cohesive society and a fairer York in difficult economic times. We need to ensure that every effort is made to protect the poor and vulnerable at a time where national cuts make unenviable local decisions unavoidable.
“I am delighted that the Fairness Commission is calling for a Living Wage to be introduced across the city. People should be paid a fair wage for a fair day’s work – anything else is unjust. I hope York will take the lead on tackling inequality and that others across the country will follow. It is over to the politicians and the public now.
“Do we want to live in a society where inequality and suffering is ingrained, or would we rather send out the message that everyone is valued and has an important part to play? It’s your choice.”