UKIP Mid-Ulster Candidate Alan Day has highlighted the worrying trend of low wages across Northern Ireland and in Cookstown in particular, when compared with the rest of the UK.
According to The Poverty Site website:
Strabane and Cookstown have by far the highest proportion of workers (35%) earning less than £7 per hour. For most districts, the proportion is less than 30%;
15% of full-time employees in Northern Ireland are paid less than £7 / hour. This proportion is higher than in any of the regions of Great Britain, with the next highest proportion being 12%.
Mr Day commented:
“Today the Resolution Foundation has stated that Northern Ireland has experienced the sharpest fall in living standards of anywhere in the UK and now has the lowest incomes of any UK region.”
“It’s no wonder that families are struggling to put petrol in their cars to get to work and buy heating oil to keep their homes warm, when wages are low but the price of goods is increasing by large margins. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that household incomes, poverty rates and the labour market have all deteriorated further in Northern Ireland over the last five years, than in the rest of the UK.”
Mr Day added:
“UKIP proposes to remove anyone earning the minimum wage from the tax system to try and alleviate poverty and tackle social disadvantage. The party’s commitment to end taxpayer funded renewable energy scams and prioritise energy efficiency projects will also benefit thousands of fuel poor families throughout Mid Ulster.
“This must be complemented by the creation of quality jobs throughout the district, together with immigration controls, to ensure labour supply is better balanced with demand.”