Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

‘It’s transforming lives’: Archbishop of Canterbury celebrates living wage increase

Mon 11 Nov 2019
By Tola Mbakwe

The Archbishop of Canterbury has rejoiced that more than 210,000 workers are set to receive a pay rise after higher rates were announced for the voluntary living wage.

The rate will increase by 30p-an-hour to £9.30, and by 20p in London to £10.75, with the number of employers signing up to pay the living wage increasing to almost 6,000.

The Living Wage Foundation, which sets the rates, said they were now £1.09-an-hour higher than the statutory minimum wage of £8.21 for adults, and £2.54 higher in London.

 

Workers will receive the news on Monday, although the new rates will be brought in over the next few months.

A record 1,500 employers have accredited with the foundation this year, including Crystal Palace Football Club, Welsh Water and Newcastle University as well as a number of local authorities.

More than a third of companies in the FTSE 100 pay the living wage.

Most Rev Justin Welby said: "Living Wage Week 2019 is a moment to celebrate what can be done when faith organisations, civil society and businesses pull together around values that unite us.

"With thousands of employers now accredited by the Living Wage Foundation, it's no longer just a campaign, it's a movement that is transforming lives."

According to The Daily Mirror, he also lamented impact poverty has on hard-working people and said everyone deserves “to live with dignity, freedom and hope”.

“For people to be trapped in poverty, even as they work long hours to provide for themselves and their families, is a fundamental injustice,” Archbishop Justin said.

Living Wage Foundation director, Katherine Chapman, said: "In this time of uncertainty today's new living wage rates give a boost to hundreds of thousands of UK workers.

"Good businesses know that the real living wage means happier, healthier and more motivated workers, and that providing workers with financial security is not only the right thing to do, but has real business benefits.

"This year for the first time cities and towns have announced big plans to grow the number of living wage employers in their communities.

"We are delighted at the ambition of Cardiff and Salford to build living wage cities, with Cardiff planning to double the number of workers getting the real living wage to nearly 50,000, freeing many more families from the low pay trap. We hope to see many more towns and cities follow suit."

The announcement follows recent research by KPMG showing that 5.2 million jobs still pay less than the real living wage.

There are big regional disparities, with Northern Ireland having the highest percentage of jobs paying below the living wage (23 per cent) and South East England the lowest (15 per cent), said the foundation.

The living wage is updated every year, calculated on the cost of living, and payable to everyone over the age of 18.

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