Andrew Smith MP has backed Labour's plans to raise wages for thousands of low-paid workers in Oxford East.
Labour will introduce Make Work Pay contracts that will help businesses raise wages, and help the next Labour Government cut social security bills for the taxpayer.
Firms that commit to paying their employees the living wage, currently £8.80 in London and £7.65 elsewhere, in the first year of the next Parliament will be offered a 12 month tax rebate of up to £1,000 for each individual worker that receives a pay rise.
The money would be funded directly from increased income tax and National Insurance revenues. Additional savings in lower tax credits and benefit payments, as well as increased tax revenues in future years, will cut social security bills and help pay down the deficit.
Andrew said: "This tackles directly a real problem for local people on low pay, working hard but struggling to pay their bills, especially with the high cost of living in Oxford. It can't be right that we've now reached the point where more of the people bringing up families in poverty are in work than out of work."
Labour-run Oxford City Council adopted a Living Wage policy in 2009, for both its direct employees and any contractors it uses, and is an accredited Living Wage employer. Cllr Bob Price, Leader of the Council, said: "The Council has strongly endorsed the principle that its employees and contractors' employees should be paid at least the living wage rate rather than the much lower national minimum. We know that the costs of housing and transport in Oxford are higher than elsewhere, and the living wage reflects those costs."
"We need to make sure work always pays which is why I'm backing Labour's plans to encourage more firms to pay their employees the living wage. This is a positive way of helping hard-working people on low pay and will also help local families cope with the rising cost of living."
Ed Miliband said: "Low wages aren't just bad for working people and their families. They are driving up the social security bill too, as the country has to subsidise more low paid jobs with tax credits and benefits.
"That is why the next Labour government, in our first year in office, will offer Make Work Pay contracts to employers.
"The result: working people will get higher wages, employers will get support to help to make the transition to a living wage and the next Labour government will cut the cost of social security for the long term."