Responding to the publication of the levelling up white paper today (Wednesday), TUC Regional Secretary for the South West Nigel Costley said:
“Disappointingly, this Paper confirms the South West has been left behind once again.
“This government’s much talked-about, long overdue plan to level up our region is a major let down.
“It simply rehashes old money and crucially, fails to provide a serious plan to deliver decent, well-paid jobs in the South West.
“Because if don’t level up our workplaces, we won’t level up our region.
"Insecure work and low pay are rife across the South West. And for too many families, being in work is no longer enough to pay the bills and put food on the table.
“The country is facing a serious cost-of-living crisis. Working families need action now to improve their jobs and pay packets – especially after more than a decade of lost pay.
"Ministers should have announced a plan to get real wages rising – starting with a proper pay rise for all our key workers as well as the introduction of fair pay deals for workers in scandalously low-paid industries.
“And they should have delivered the long-awaited employment bill to ban zero hours contracts – as well as new, meaningful investment in skills and good green jobs of the future.
"Without a plan to deliver decent work, millions will continue to struggle on low wages, and with poor health and prospects.”
Recent polling published by the TUC found the British public’s number one priority for levelling up is more and better jobs.
The TUC polling, conducted by YouGov, reveals that the most popular priority for levelling up, chosen by one in two Britons, is increasing the number and quality of jobs available.
Increasing the number and quality of jobs is popular across the political spectrum. Half (49 per cent) of those who voted Conservative in the 2019 general election picked it as their top priority, along with more than half of Labour voters (56 per cent) and Lib Dem voters (54 per cent).
-YouGov conducted an online survey of 1,656 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26-27 January 2022. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
- The Trades Union Congress (TUC) exists to make the working world a better place for everyone. We bring together the 5.5 million working people who make up our 48 member unions. We support unions to grow and thrive, and we stand up for everyone who works for a living.
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