Lifting Sunderland's workforce out of 'poverty wages' - and cutting city's carbon emissions

Council chiefs in Sunderland are looking to build on positive work done to raise people’s wages and cut down on carbon emissions in the City.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 1:22 pm

Sunderland City Cabinet this week were provided with an update on progress made during the first quarter of 2021/22 against the City Plan.

The document spans through to 2030 and offers a vision for the city and values for the council, which provide the focus for their activities.

Cabinet Secretary, Councillor Paul Stewart, praised work done to help reduce “poverty wages” and the proportion of workers earning below Living Wage Foundation rates, which is down to 16.1% for 2020.

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Efforts are underway to raise wages and cut carbon emissions in Sunderland.

This is below the North East and national averages of 22.5% and 20.1% respectively, and an improvement on the 2016 Sunderland rate of 26.4%.

He said: “The fantastic statistics there with regards to the level of poverty wages in this city, down to 16.1%, is the lowest it’s ever been in this city.

“It’s really down to our solid work as a council with regards to community wealth building and ensuring that we support local businesses in this city and support businesses in ensuring that they pay at least a real living wage.”

He also noted positive work carried out to date to help reduce carbon emissions in Sunderland.

For 2019/20 CO2 emissions estimates for Sunderland (per capita) were 4.2 tonnes, again below North East and England averages of 5.5 and 4.9 tonnes respectively, and an improvement on the Sunderland 2015/16 rate of 4.8 tonnes.

Cllr Stewart added: “That is in a position where as a city we’re quite heavily industrialised, so the fact that we’re lower than the North East average and the English average, is something to be really proud of.”

Cllr Graeme Miller, City Council leader, also praised the work done in Sunderland to date, especially in regards to wages in the area.

He said: “The work that this Labour council has been doing to raise people’s wages, to give them more secure employment, to keep the Sunderland pound in Sunderland through community wealth building, is definitely having an effect and a substantial effect in reducing poverty wages in the city.

“We will do more and we will continue fighting for people to be getting a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.”

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