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Politicians ‘out of touch’ with the low-paid

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THE majority of States Members are out of touch with the harsh reality of living on a low income, according to the Island’s only political party.

Deputy Rob Ward tried to get a further increase in the minimum wage Picture: ROB CURRIE. (26999074)

Last week Deputy Rob Ward brought a proposition to the Assembly, in a bid to increase the minimum wage for a second time in a year.

The proposition was to increase the minimum wage to £8.66 per hour in October, in addition to the already planned uplift to £8.32 due to come into force in April.

He also proposed that £300,000 be provided to fund a plan to improve productivity in low-pay sectors. However, both elements of the proposition were rejected by Members.

Reform Jersey said it would continue to work to bring the minimum wage up to £10 by 2022. However, it is not clear when a new proposition will be brought.

Within the statement, the party hit out at the Members who voted against the proposition last week.

The statement said: ‘Reform Jersey thanks those States Members that supported our proposition to raise the minimum wage further in 2020.

‘We are disappointed that the States Assembly has chosen not to take positive action to meet its commitment to reduce income inequality. The decision of the majority of States Members not to support this proposition shows how out of touch they are with the harsh reality of living on a low income.

‘Our States Members remain committed to bringing forward propositions that deliver on the promises made in our manifesto, and follow through on the pledges that we made to our constituents.

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‘We will continue to work towards bringing the minimum wage up to £10 per hour by 2022, as we promised to do.’

Elsewhere in the response to the States vote, Reform Jersey said they would continue to hold the Chief Minister to account on 2020 being the year of action and again reiterated their support for electoral reform, to see a ‘more representative Assembly’.

The party added: ‘Achieving the kind of progressive change that our voters want, requires the political will of the majority of the States Assembly.

‘It is important that our Assembly is representative of our population, which is why we support the Privileges and Procedures Committee’s proposals for electoral reform.’

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