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Councils discuss living wage

Staff at some councils could soon be paid a so called "living wage" as part of a scheme to pay workers enough to provide an "acceptable standard of living".

Sheffield council is meeting later this week to discuss paying its workers the hourly rate of more than £7.

The idea has been backed by Labour Leader and Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband who today said that local authorities in Leeds and York were "starting along the path" to adopting the scheme as well.

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New living wage rate announced

A new living wage rate for the UK has been announced in York this morning by the chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

It is now set at £7.45 per hour – an increase of 25p on the previous rate of £7.20 per hour. The Living Wage is the pay needed to provide an adequate standard of living. It compares to the national minimum wage rate of £6.19 an hour.

New figures released today show that the Living Wage campaign, launched by charity Citizens UK in 2001, has lifted 45,000 people out of working poverty and won over £200m of improved pay for low-income workers.

A living wage is good for business, for the individual and for society. Consequently, it is entirely right that it enjoys cross-party political support as well as support from major employers. I am delighted to confirm that, as an employer, from 2013, we will pay a living wage to all of our colleagues, extending it to around 100 of our lowest paid who are carrying out important work as care assistants, cleaners and catering workers. I would urge more employers to make a commitment to paying a living wage.”

– Julia Unwin, CEO of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation