UNION chief Lynn Collins said promoting the ‘living wage’, and outlawing ‘zero hours’ contracts, will be key campaigns in the North West this year.

The regional secretary of the TUC said: “We have heard a lot about foodbanks and their growth in our region and, while there is an assumption they exist for those on benefits, we know that over the last year the biggest rise in foodbank usage is by those in work, and facing low wages and no guaranteed hours.”

“It’s a disgrace that workers have to turn to charities to put right the damage caused to working families by low wages.

“Paying a decent wage to all workers would reduce not only foodbank dependency, but the benefits bill which currently tops up household income for those in low-paid work.”