Plaid Cymru has unveiled its first signature policy for the 2015 General Election Campaign - a Living Wage that would secure a pay rise for more than 250,000 Welsh workers. A Living Wage would improve living standards, help create jobs, and boost local economies due to people having more money in their pockets to spend. The policy was just one of many Plaid Cymru proposals to help businesses and employers alike such as cutting VAT in the tourism sector, offering SMEs lower business rates, and developing a Welsh Bank to lend to small business.
Hywel Williams MP, Plaid Social Security spokesperson speaking ahead of the policy launch said:
"Plaid Cymru believes that nobody in Wales should be paid less than they need to live upon. That is why we pledge to give more than 250,000 Welsh workers a pay rise by making the Living Wage a key commitment for the 2015 General Election campaign.
"In a time when City fat cats are rewarded for failure, and ordinary families are suffering a slump in living standards, this is a policy aimed at tackling the UK's "most unequal state in Europe" status.
"Currently the UK Government subsidises big business to pay poverty wages by setting the minimum wage too low and then topping them up with tax credits to enable people to afford basic provisions.
"By raising the minimum wage to be in line with the Living Wage, we will be able to raise living standards and boost local economies as people will have more money in their pockets to spend.
"Analysis shows that it is more commonly women, the under 30s and part-time workers who suffer most from low wages. A Living Wage would ensure that none of these groups are left behind and improve the lot of entire households, not just individuals.
"This is just one of a wide range of Plaid Cymru policies designed to help employers and workers alike. These include cutting VAT for the tourism industry, cutting business rates for SMEs, and establishing a Bank of Wales that would lend to small businesses.
"While Labour, Tories and Lib Dems join in the desperate scramble to save the Union and putting Wales' best interests on the back burner yet again, Plaid Cymru is getting on with the job of delivering a more just and prosperous Welsh nation."