“New figures suggest that in some parts of Cornwall as many as 40% of jobs are not paying a living wage – what can be done to tackle the problem of low pay levels in Cornwall and should employers be allowed to continue employing staff on zero hour contracts?”
Increasing the availability of skilled jobs that pay decent wages in West Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is the best way to address many of the challenges we face, not least buying ourselves a home. So the challenge is greater than simply reaching the rate of pay described as a living wage. There are opportunities to create more skilled jobs and this will be central to my work if elected as Member of Parliament in May.
Regarding zero hours contracts, the Conservative Party has been very clear about this. Zero hour contracts that stop people working elsewhere and leave people unable to build a decent life for themselves will be scrapped. People should be free to take on different jobs so that they can get on.
Zero hour contracts are not completely bad. They need to be positive and helpful. It is worth remembering that zero hour contracts provide people with a flexible way of working and the freedom to arrange jobs around other commitments, and they allow employers to be competitive in response to market trends. However, I agree that we need to get the right balance between what zero hour contracts deliver and any abuses there might be.