Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson support the Living Wage. Will Whitehall and big firms dare to follow?

A Living Wage encourages people into work, reduces the burden on the taxpayer, and is an effective form of redistribution without recourse to the State. What's not to like?

Share
Related Topics

Today’s report by KPMG sets out the scale of the national crisis of working poverty. Living Wage Week, starting next Monday, will showcase the success of the simplest and best solution: pay people enough to live. And the arguments are compelling.

Behind today’s 4.28m statistic of those working for less than a Living Wage are countless human stories of hardworking mums and dads doing two or three jobs to make ends meet. This leaves children with no-one to help with homework or look after them of an evening. Read wasted potential and community turmoil. These were the stories that led London Citizens to launch the campaign in 2001. Now every single one of the more than 15,000 people lifted onto a Living Wage has a story to tell of the impact this has had on them and their families. Amin Hussein, cleaner at Queen Mary University, was able to leave his second job and start an award-winning charity for Somali young people.

The second argument is that receiving a decent Living Wage means people like Amin start working harder and being more loyal. Barclays reported a retention rate of 92% for their cleaning staff compared to 35% industry-wide rates. Better loyalty, more training, better productivity all contribute to consistent reports from employers that Living Wage makes business sense and is financially achievable.

If you don’t really care that people can work hard and get paid enough to live, and aren’t bothered that companies can benefit from a more productive workforce, then you may still be interested that there is substantial tax-payer benefit to be had. When large companies like Aviva go Living Wage, to their great credit, this means thousands of low-paid workers take less tax credits. The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates there are up to £6bn savings to be made where private sector companies choose to join the growing list of responsible Living Wage Employers.

With Mayor Boris Johnson and Labour Leader Ed Miliband lined up to expound these numerous benefits of the Living Wage next week, it’s time for Whitehall and for successful companies across the country to do the right thing.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Tony Abbott: A man most Australian women would like to pat on the back...iron in hand

Caroline Garnar
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea performs in California  

Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting

Yomi Adegoke
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there