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Bridget Phillipson MP, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has sponsored a Bill in the House of Commons that will require companies to publish annual reports on the percentage of their staff being paid less than the Living Wage (the income necessary to achieve a minimum acceptable standard of living).

The Bill was tabled in the House of Commons on 3 February by Labour MP for Lewisham Heidi Alexander MP and is due for second reading this week (Friday).

The Bill will seek to improve transparency over low wages in the UK economy. New research published today (23 February) by the TUC has revealed the extent of the problem.

Its analysis, which was based on official figures from the House of Commons Library, demonstrated that one in five jobs pays in the UK pays less than the living wage – currently set at £9.15 in London and £7.85 across the rest of Britain.

A report published by KPMG in 2014 also showed that there are now an estimated 5.28 million people in the UK earning less than the Living Wage.

The millions on low wages have to rely upon government support through tax credits and the payment of in-work benefits to make ends meet.

Supplementing the incomes of the low-paid in this way makes it more difficult to get the deficit down and increases the government’s benefits bill.
 
The Living Wage (Reporting) Bill sponsored by Bridget in the House of Commons will introduce a mechanism by which the public and workers can find out which companies pay the living wage and which do not.

The publication of annual reports on the percentage of staff in listed companies paid less than the Living Wage will end the culture of silence around low wages and prevent large companies pursuing profit at the expense of their workers and the taxpayer.
 
Speaking after the Bill was tabled in the Commons, Bridget said:
“Low pay is making life impossible for millions across the county. This is the first Parliament since the 1920s in which people will be worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.
 
“In my constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South over a fifth of full-time workers are not being paid a subsistence wage. The situation for part-time workers is much worse, with over 40% on low pay.
 
“These are people who work hard and do the right thing but still do not earn enough to provide for themselves and their families.
 
“I sponsored Heidi Alexander MP’s Living Wage (Reporting) Bill because I think the millions of people across the country on low wages and British taxpayers deserve to know which companies pay their employees a fair wage.
 
“It is currently very difficult for the public to know which companies are doing the right thing. This Bill will bring much needed transparency and put pressure on large employers to change their ways.
 
“It is time for big companies to take this issue seriously; those that can afford to pay their employees a Living Wage should do so.”

Bridget Phillipson MP stands up for fair pay

Bridget Phillipson MP, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has sponsored a Bill in the House of Commons that will require companies to publish annual reports on the...

With less than three months to go the General Election on 7 May, it’s important to make sure you register to vote in time.

The process changed last year from a household registration system to individual voter registration. Every person who is eligible to vote in your household must now individually register their intention to vote. People have to be on the electoral register by 20 April, so there’s not much time left. Fortunately, registering to vote is very easy – you can do it online in a few minutes. Simply go to https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and fill in the relevant information or contact your local council elections team. You can also register for a postal vote if you think you might not be able to make it to your polling station on 7 May. The electoral register is also used by credit reference agencies so if you're not registered to vote you may well be refused credit, as well as losing your say in elections.

Echo Column: Don't forget to register to vote

With less than three months to go the General Election on 7 May, it’s important to make sure you register to vote in time.

Bridget_Phillipson_WCD.jpgBridget Phillipson MP, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has attended a parliamentary event held by Cancer Research UK to mark World Cancer Day and encourage MPs to support their Cross Cancer Out campaign.

After the announcement on World Cancer Day (February 4) that one in two people will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives, Cancer Research UK has launched a campaign to highlight the urgent need to bolster public health and NHS cancer services.
 
The charity is calling on parliamentarians to back measures to ensure cancer patients receive the best treatment and are diagnosed early enough for that treatment to make a difference.
 
UK cancer survival rates still lag behind the best in Europe. In England nearly half of all cancers are diagnosed at an advanced stage, when they are harder to treat successfully.

Cancer Research UK believes that support for public awareness campaigns, increasing screening uptake and ensuring equal access to innovative evidence-based treatments are key to saving more lives.

Speaking at the event, Bridget said:

“Cancer has a devastating impact on people across the UK. The good news is that there have been huge advances in the battle against the disease.

“But with more than 832 deaths from cancer a year in my constituency of Houghton and Sunderland South and one person diagnosed with cancer every hour in the north east*, it’s vital that we detect cancer earlier and that the NHS is provided with the tools to offer patients the best possible chance of surviving.

“The political drive to beat cancer must match the pace of progress in research. A future Labour government will introduce a £2.5 billion Time to Care Fund, which will guarantee GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week.”
 
Layla Theiner, Head of Public Affairs at Cancer Research UK, said:

“The increase in the lifetime risk of getting cancer is primarily because more people are surviving into old age, when the disease is more common.
 
“We can’t avoid growing older, but we can prevent a crisis in the future by acting now to make our NHS cancer services among the best in the world.
 
“Without increased political support we could see the death toll from cancer rising in the UK and so early diagnosis and better treatments must be key priorities for the next Government.
 
“That’s why we’re calling on MPs and parliamentary candidates from all political parties to commit to ‘Cross Cancer Out’ and help ensure no-one’s life is cut short by this devastating disease.”

For more information and ways to get involved in the campaign, visit cruk.org/crosscancerout or join the conversation on twitter #CrossCancerOut.

*Approximation based on annual average figure of around 14,700 cases of all cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) diagnosed between 2009-2011 in the North East Region.

Bridget Phillipson MP supports Cancer Research UK’s ‘Cross Cancer Out’ Campaign

Bridget Phillipson MP, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has attended a parliamentary event held by Cancer Research UK to mark World Cancer Day and encourage MPs to...


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