A Call For A Fairer Wage For All

In an open letter from the Londonwide Assembly Member

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Dear Editor,

The Mayor of London announced on Monday that the London Living Wage will be raised by 25p to £8.55 an hour. I wholeheartedly welcome this increase in the hourly rate but also want to be realistic about how the Mayor is encouraging employers to introduce this vital lifeline to their staff in light of the fact there’s been no increase in the proportion of jobs paying LLW since 2005.

For such an outspoken supporter of the LLW, the hypocrisy of the Mayor is unbelievable as he continues to have cleaners working at Transport for London and security staff in the Metropolitan Police being paid the National Minimum Wage, both institutions he is responsible for.

Adult poverty in Inner London affects 34 per cent of people and there are 680,000 adults in London living in in-work poverty. This number has risen 17% since 2009. So far the Mayor’s Living Wage Campaign has tackled just 1.3% of the problem.

And times are getting tougher. Private sector rents have risen over 8 per cent last year and energy prices are rising by 11 per cent. The Mayor also announced this week that fares will be going up 4.2 per cent in the New Year – another tax on working Londoners.

The Mayor should be doing more to encourage employers to pay the London Living Wage. It’s a small amount that makes a massive difference. For companies in construction, software, computing, banking and food production, signing up to the London Living Wage costs less than 1% to their overall wage bills. The benefits are far-reaching with happier and loyal workers, lower staff turnover, a great financial impact for employees and Government savings of £823 million per annum by increasing the tax base and reducing welfare benefit spending.

As the gap between the highest and lowest earners continues to widen and inequality in the UK grows the Mayor needs to do more then pay lip-service to the London Living Wage.


November 8, 2012

November 8, 2012