GREATER Manchester's Chamber of Commerce is backing Angela Rayner's campaign for a full Living Wage.
The Chamber's Head of Research and Policy, Christian Spence told a conference in Tameside that there were 60,000 companies across Greater Manchester which already paid the full Living Wage of £8.25 an hour.
He told the conference: "The economics of the Living Wage stack up for the private sector. If you pay your staff properly you get greater output, productivity and staff retention. The benefits are clear."
He said that 91 per cent of the Chamber's members supported backing the full Living Wage and it was the first Chamber in the country to become officially accredited.
The conference, held at Dukinfield Town Hall and organised by Ashton-under-Lyne Labour MP Angela Rayner, was attended by representatives from Tameside Council, IKEA, New Charter, Ashton Pioneer Homes, the Greater Manchester Living Wage Campaign, Communities and Voluntary Action Tameside and other organisations.
They heard how Chancellor George Osborne's National Living Wage would pay only £7.20 an hour when it was introduced in April and took no account of the cost of living.
Angela said: "Businesses have told us that the full Living Wage of £8.25 an hour has saved them money, lowered staff turnover and lowered sickness and absence.
"Osborne's living wage will short change millions of people, particularly those under 25 years of age who will not be covered by it, even though they have the same living costs as everyone else."
She added: "When we work together, both the public and private sectors, we can genuinely change people's lives for the better."