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Living wage for all in paid work or training

The UK Faculty of Public Health calls for a living wage for everyone in paid employment and training to enable good quality of life, and health and wellbeing, for all. The call is one of 12 priorities for public health action in Start Well, Live Better, FPH’s Manifesto for the 2015 General Election.

Dr John Middleton, Vice President for Policy at FPH, said: “Whilst the cost of living has increased, people’s earnings have stagnated, making it harder to afford essential items like food and rent. The living wage provides an acceptable standard of living based on the cost of living in the UK. It has cross-party support and is an investment in the future of our country. The livig wage can help create a fairer society in which our children are not raised in poverty, and our communities can thrive. People shouldn’t have to make those ‘eat or heat’ choices.”

The 12 priorities focus on four main areas for action:

1. Give every child a good start in life

•    Action is needed to protect infant health as well as making sure all children and young people get sex and relationship education

2. Introduce good laws to prevent bad health and save lives

•    Protect child health with a 20% sugar duty on sugar sweetened drinks
•    Tackle the harm caused by alcohol and cigarettes through minimum unit pricing and standardised packs

3. Help people live healthier lives

•    Everyone in paid employment and training to get the living wage
•    Reaffirm commitment to a universal healthcare system, free at point of use, funded by general taxation

4. Take national action to tackle a global problem

•    Promote good health and reduce climate change through investing in public transport and active travel
•    Take a cross-national approach to meet climate change targets by including a rapid move to 100% renewables and a zero carbon energy system

Dr Middleton continued:  “Our aim is to strike a balance between short-term pragmatism that has an immediate impact, with a long-term vision that needs a more sustained approach. If we are to bridge the rapidly increasing gap between rich and poor, we need our governments to lay a solid foundation from which we can build.

“Our intention is that Start Well, Live Better will be instrumental in putting policies in place, after the general election, that work towards our vision of better health for all.”

Written: 29/10/2014 , last modified: 09/07/2015