We need a statutory Living Wage for London


London-wide Assembly Member Murad Qureshi AM today called for the London Living Wage (LLW) to be placed on a statutory footing in the capital. It was announced that the LLW will rise next year to £8.80 from its current rate of £8.55. There have been fears that introducing a statutory living wage would lead to unemployment. However, a new report out today challenges this. 

The report, commissioned by Unison, analyses the economic impact of a nation-wide living wage on jobs and growth. It finds that £3.26 billion extra would be generated for the Treasury and a £3.15 billion boost to the economy. These would support jobs and “…aggregate job gains in excess of 7,000 are the most likely outcome of a statutory living wage.” 

New research shows that a resident, living in a two bed home, earning the National Minimum Wage and commuting to work in central London from Hounslow has to spend an estimated 17.9 per cent of their pay on travel and 134.1 per cent on rent, compared with 7.08 per cent and 64.4 per cent in 2008 respectively. 

Labour London-wide Assembly Member Murad Qureshi AM said:

“The London Living Wage has been successful in ensuring thousands of workers in London receive a fair days pay for a fair days work. Today’s report shows that introducing a statutory living wage could lead to an increase in jobs rather than a reduction. I am delighted that there are now plans to introduce measures to encourage more employers to pay a Living Wage through tax incentives. 

“The Mayor must do more to encourage employers to pay the London Living Wage and he can start by making the institutions he is responsible for accredited London Living Wage employers. At the current rate of progress it will take 450 years for all workers to be paid a living wage in London. Londoners are struggling and the Mayor’s inflation-busting fare increases mean that residents earning the National Minimum Wage and travelling to work in zone one have to spend an estimated 17.9 per cent of their pay on travel, and 134.1 per cent on rent.  

“Introducing a statutory living wage could be phased in to help smaller businesses and give people time to prepare. Poverty pay is unacceptable, as is expecting the taxpayer to plug the gap through the benefits system. As today’s report states this policy would lead to an economic win-win, by boosting demand and economic growth, reducing the extent to which benefits prop up poverty pay and reduce earnings inequality. This is a policy whose time has come.” 



  1.  Murad Qureshi is a London-wide Assembly Member.
    1. The Landman Economics Report The Economic Impact of Extending the Living Wage to all Employees in the UK commissioned by Unison and published today can be found here: https://www.unison.org.uk/upload/sharepoint/Briefings%20and%20Circulars/Landman%20Economics%20Living%20Wage%20Report%20-%20Final.pdf


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