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Plaid’s “astonishing” hypocrisy on living wage and zero-hours contracts uncovered

January 7, 2015 10:18 AM
Originally published by Welsh Liberal Democrats

Mark Williams MPThe Welsh Liberal Democrats have uncovered figures that show nearly 4,000 people working for Plaid Cymru-led councils are not being paid the living wage, despite Plaid Cymru recently writing to organisations urging them to pay the living wage.

The living wage, which is £7.85, is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually by the Living Wage Foundation based on the basic cost of living in the UK.

Despite campaigning for the living wage to be paid in the public sector and for zero-hours contracts to be scrapped, Freedom of Information requests have shown that all three of the councils controlled or led by Plaid Cymru - Ceredigion, Conwy, and Gwynedd - pay people less than the living wage and use zero-hours contracts. The exact figures for these councils can be found below.

Mark Williams, the Welsh Liberal Democrat MP for Ceredigion, said:

"Plaid Cymru's hypocrisy on the living wage is utterly astonishing. Plaid had the cheek to write to organisations lecturing them about the living wage, yet councils they themselves run fail to pay it. They really should get their own houses in order before preaching to others.

"Likewise, Plaid Cymru have described the use of zero-hour contracts as 'exploitative', yet councils they run seem more than happy to use them on a grand scale. They might talk a good talk, but yet again they fail to live up to their words. The figures published today make a mockery of Plaid Cymru's rhetoric on the Living Wage and zero-hour contracts.

"Liberal Democrats are already taking action to help the lowest paid, by ensuring that over a million working people in Wales are now paying £850 less in Income Tax than they were under the last Labour Government. We're also taking action on zero-hours contracts by banning exclusivity clauses that stopped workers from finding other jobs. Our action is in stark contrast to Plaid's meaningless rhetoric."

The details:

Ceredigion

The number of current employees on payroll that are earning less than £7.85 per hour = 902

The number of current employees who are on zero hour contracts = 328

Conwy

The number of current employees on payroll that are earning less than £7.85 per hour = 1232

The number of current employees who are on zero hour contracts = 76

Gwynedd

The number of current employees on payroll that are earning less than £7.85 per hour = 1,852

The number of current employees who are on zero hour contracts = 186

Total

Total number of current employees earning less than living wage: 3,986

Total number of current employees who are on zero hour contracts: 590