Calls to back a living wage in West Lancs are being made after figures revealed more than a third of employees across the borough earn less than the living wage.
Data from the TUC’s analysis of official figures from the House of Commons Library show 38.2% of employees in West Lancashire are in jobs that pay less than the living wage, currently set at £7.65.
The West Lancs constituency has the eighth worst figure in the UK and third worst in the North West, after Blackpool on 39.3% and Sefton Central on 40.4%.
West Lancs Labour MP Rosie Cooper said: “There are far too many hard-working families in West Lancs who despite being in work still find it difficult to make ends meet.
“High prices and falling real wages add pressure to the cost of living, which is why I am backing action to secure a living wage.
“West Lancashire’s figure is double the national average, which is not a situation we should welcome but need to address urgently.
“We need to build on the national minimum wage to ensure that paid work keeps pace with the cost of living and therefore can ensure those in work are able to live, not just merely survive.”
But Cllr Adrian Owens, deputy leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said: “These results are based on only a 1% survey, and are at variance with other Office for National Statistics figures that show average weekly wages higher in West Lancashire than the regional average.
“This survey also doesn’t consider at all the self-employed. We have an entrepreneurial culture in West Lancashire and more than 10% of people are self-employed.
“Nevertheless, we take the issue of the living wage seriously. That’s why we as a council are a living wage employer.
“For example we can work with Edge Hill to assist graduates to develop new businesses in West Lancs and we’re working hard on apprenticeships – we have already supported 280 apprenticeship starts in the past three years.”