A MOTION to ensure all contractors, agencies and organisations doing work on behalf of Bromsgrove District Council pay their workers ‘at least the living wage’ was voted down by the Conservative group.
The national living wage is currently at £8.21 for those aged 25 or older, £7.70 for 21 to 24-year-olds, £6.15 for those aged between 18 and 20 and £4.35 for under 18.
Apprentices are currently at £3.90 per hour.
Labour councillor Peter McDonald, who put forward the motion at the last Bromsgrove full council meeting, said: “Anyone earning below the highest living wage is living in poverty.
“Introducing this policy would have been the right thing to do and would have set an example for other councils.
“But the truth is the Tories support the exploitation of humans so it can increase the profits of big business.”
The Labour group was successful a few years ago in making sure no one employed by the council received less than the living wage, but were unsuccessful with this motion.
Deputy Conservative leader Geoff Denaro said: “Once again we are being accused of exploitation from the Labour group.
“Coun McDonald put forward a near-identical motion to this one back in 2012 and our officers looked at it then.
“They told us it doesn’t matter what we think is morally correct, because it does not and should not come down to us.
“It’s not our decision to make.”
Conservative portfolio holder for planning and regulatory services, Coun Adam Kent said: “As an employer I would be most concerned about introducing this policy.
“It would mean doubling the pay of young people, who understandably have less skills and experience than those who are older.
“It would cause a major economic meltdown to our incredibly successful economy.”