IslingtonTribune

The independent London newspaper

London needs to see real wage increases

15 November, 2019

• THIS week is Living Wage Week, and the rise in the Living Wage Foundation’s London rate is welcome news for the Londoners working at Living Wage employers.

But with household debt at record levels and families across our city struggling to make ends meet we need to see real wage rises.

The last decade of wage squeezes has meant that working people are £14,300 worse off than if real wages had stayed at 2008 levels. Real wages still haven’t recovered to their 2008 levels – the longest pay squeeze in centuries.

And far too many Londoners are earning below the £10.75 hourly rate that the Living Wage Foundation have calculated as the minimum for any worker to earn.

TUC analysis published earlier this month shows that unsecured household debt has increased by a third since 2010 to new record of £14,200.

Low pay and rising costs are leaving many working mums and dads needing to put it on a credit card or using other loans just to cover the basics.

Working people deserve a fairer share of the wealth they create. It just isn’t right that many working families are struggling to make ends meet, while those at the top enjoy bumper pay cheques.

Our mayor’s support for the London Living Wage is a key part of tackling the massive inequality that still exists in our city.

The rise in the real Living Wage for those who will benefit from it in London is to be welcomed. But we shouldn’t forget that far too many working people are still struggling in our city.

More employers in the region must pay the real living wage. And whatever government we get after December 12 must give workers new rights to join unions and bargain for better pay and conditions across industries.

SAM GURNEY
TUC London Region Secretary

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