LEADERS across the North are being urged to join forces to create a ‘Living Wage North’.

The call has come from IPPR North with the aim of ensuring no-one is paid less than the real living wage by 2025.

The think tank says one in four Northerners are currently paid less than that and local authorities and Metro Mayors can build a 'Living Wage North' by making the living wage a requirement of their procurement, as well as implementing employment charters and prioritising low-pay sectors in local industrial strategies.

Marcus Johns, researcher at IPPR North, said: “People in the North are experiencing a job quality crisis. That one in four Northerners are paid less than the real living wage is nothing short of a scandal.

"Of course government should increase funding to local government, but there are steps that local authorities can take to improve the quality of work, as some are already showing."

He added: “The next phase of the Northern Powerhouse should prioritise economic justice.

"We need to build a North that works in the interests of all people and places, not just profit. The first step is for leaders across our region to work together to ensure that Northerners have access to decent work”.

Bradford Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe said: “The IPPR North report is right that the Northern economy and in fact much of the country faces these challenges.

"In Bradford Labour we made a manifesto pledge to focus on this very issue.

"Getting more money into people’s pockets is one of our key priorities.

"We’ve seen good progress in the last year with a seven per cent increase in weekly earnings to £488, 6,500 new jobs created and 4,127 new Companies House business registrations in 2018 – the ninth highest in the UK.

"Our weekly wage in the district however remains lower than the regional average so we know there is still much more to do.”