London Living Wage up to £8.55

The Living Wage rate for workers in the capital is to increase by 25p an hour to £8.55, the Mayor of London has announced. Labour leader Ed Miliband is to unveil plans for a national equivalent of £7.20 per hour.

Living Wage 'may do more harm than good'

The plans for the Living Wage may do more harm than good, thinks the Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Mark Littlewood said:

The so-called living wage may do more harm than good.

Highly successful, blue chip companies may well be able to sign up to the scheme fairly effortlessly.

Public authorities can also do so and simply pass the bill on to the taxpayer.

There is, however, a danger that naming and shaming companies unable to meet higher wages will depress job creation particularly in the poorer parts of the UK.

London is singled out for special treatment, but it is assumed that there are no differences between Bradford and Bath or between Winchester and Wolverhampton.

This is evidently absurd.

– Mark Littlewood, Director General of the Institute of Economic Affairs

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Small businesses 'struggling' to pay Living Wage

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has insisted that its members want to pay their employees a higher salary, but argued that they are "struggling" with cash flow in the current economic climate.

Companies are under pressure to pay staff the Living Wage - which was increased today to £8.55 in London and £7.45 elsewhere - following campaigning by London mayor Boris Johnson and Labour leader Ed Miliband.

Small firms want to pay their employees more, and recognise the benefits of doing so. However, they are struggling to manage cash-flow in the midst of weak economic demand and increasing energy and fuel costs.

– FSB national chairman John Walker

Businesses react to campaign for Living Wage

ITV News followers on Facebook have been reacting to Labour leader Ed Miliband’s attempt to encourage companies to pay the Living Wage, which was increased today to £8.55 in London and £7.45 elsewhere.

I think the unemployed should work for the payout if they have been out of work for more than six months… As a business owner trying to make a go of things, I get zero benefits even though I have had no income for the last three months.

– Wayne Baker

It’s not about paying a higher wage - bring down the cost of living that would make the difference - small businesses won't be able to afford that and will have to close.

– Kaz Langley

As the manager of an organisation caring for the elderly, we would dearly love to pay our staff the recommended living wage.

To employ one carer for 24 hours on this wage with pension and national insurance would cost us £201.84.

The government pay us £47.66 per day to care for each elderly resident. Some things just don't add up.

– Mrs Julie Wickenden (via email)

Scottish Government commits to new Living Wage

The Scottish Government has renewed its commitment to the Living Wage after the rate was increased from £7.20 to £7.45.

The requirement to pay the Living Wage was introduced in the Scottish Government's pay policy in 2011-12 and the new rate will apply from April next year.

We fully support the principles of the Living Wage Campaign, which encourages all employers to reward their staff fairly. That is why the commitment to pay the Living Wage is part of the Scottish Government's public sector pay policy for the third year running.

– Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney

The Scottish Government has control over the pay for most civil servants in central government, government agencies, non-departmental public bodies and the NHS.

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Boris: Living Wage is a badge of honour for firms

London mayor Boris Johnson has called on more businesses in the capital to sign up to the Living Wage initiative.

The rate in the capital was increased from £8.30 to £8.55 today.

We have a huge range of household names on board and I want to see more coming forward. I’m sure that the new Living Wage Foundation trademark will become a fantastic badge of honour for the capital’s employers and add further momentum to a campaign I wholeheartedly support.

– Boris Johnson, London Mayor

There are 94 living wage employers in the UK, with 44 in the process of acquiring accreditation.

TUC: Firms cannot plead poverty over Living Wage

The TUC has called for more employers to pay the Living Wage so that millions of workers can benefit from the initiative.

It was announced this morning that the new rate of Living Wage is £8.55 an hour in London and £7.45 elsewhere - both rates having been increased by 25p.

We commend those employers who have already signed up to it.

However, it is essential that more companies follow suit. We want millions to benefit from a living wage, not thousands. It is simply not good enough for large companies to plead poverty at a time when their cash reserves are increasing.

– TUC General Secretary Designate Frances O’Grady
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