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Everyone in work or training deserves national living wage

Commenting on the Budget, Professor Simon Capewell, Vice-President for Policy for the Faculty of Public Health (FPH), said: "We welcome many aspects of this Budget. As the Prime Minister has rightly said, we need to focus not only on GDP but general wellbeing, which can’t be traded on markets or measured in money.

"Crucially, we must tackle the deficit without increasing poverty and inequality. The divide between 'haves' and 'have nots' is the one of the biggest challenges we face. A challenge to natural justice, as well as to public health. Without a fit and healthy workforce, we cannot compete in an international market. If we value everyone’s health, we need to protect the most vulnerable in society and ensure vital public services are maintained.

"We await the detail of the welfare reform bill announced today with great interest. Cutting important welfare benefits will increase child poverty. One in four children are currently living in poverty, including households who are in work. Cuts will affect children’s health, their chances of getting a good education and impact on their quality of life. Cuts may also erode economic growth.

"FPH strongly welcomes the introduction of a national living wage. The Chancellor acknowledged that we need to do more to train people for work. We agree. Everyone deserves good health, wellbeing and quality of life, regardless of their age. We would therefore strongly recommend that the living wage to be extended to everyone in paid work and training, including those under 25."

Written: 08/07/2015 , last modified: 17/09/2015