Protesters demand 'living wage'

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The Independent Online

Two and a half thousand investors, philanthropists and religious leaders gathered in central London yesterday to urge leading companies to pay workers a "living wage".

The rally at Westminster Central Hall marked the 10th anniversary of the living wage campaign and set out plans to lobby the FTSE 100 companies to increase salaries.

The living wage, which the Mayor of London increased yesterday from £7.85 to £8.30 an hour for workers in the capital, is 40 per cent higher than the national minimum of £5.93 an hour. The regional living wage is set at £7.20 an hour.

Campaigners said the gap between the statutory minimum – set to rise to £6.08 in October – and the living wage represents the amount of extra income needed to bring the lowest-paid earners out of poverty.

The coalition, led by the organisation FairPensions, is today writing to every FTSE 100 company to ask for the standards to be applied. According to Fair Pensions, there are more than 3.5 million workers in the UK who earn less than £7 an hour.