Has your living wage risen?

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Has your living wage risen?

The national ‘living wage’ has risen in London and across the rest of the UK. Employees of firms that currently offer the wage will see their wage rise to £7.65, up by 20p from £7.45. Firms listed as offering the ‘living wage’ in London have also increased the amount of recipients are paid from £8.55 an hour to £8.80. The change is thought to impact over 30,000 low income employees across Britain, these people are set to enjoy an annual pay rise of around £400 as a result of the change.

The ‘living wage’ is voluntary in Britain currently and is determined annually by looking at prices for living essentials such as energy, food, transport and housing. Following the analysis of these the living wage is determined as the minimum amount an earner should receive to be able to cope with the increasing financial demands of living in the UK.

The announcement comes after Labour leader Ed Miliband pledged his commitment to implementing the ‘living wage’, should he be elected in 2015. He also identified his idea to incentivise the wage for firms by promising to introduce a tax break for them in 2016 so that they can recuperate some of the costs of implementing the wage. “Hundreds of businesses, charities, Labour councils across Britain, and the Citizens UK living wage campaign are already showing how we can make work pay”.

His remarks have however been met with a lot of criticism from the Conservatives and businesses alike who have dubbed it another ‘gimmick’ and referred to it as financially and economically unviable. However London Assembly member, Len Duvall, has criticised Mr Johnson’s support for the wage, highlighting that the impact of the campaign is yet to be witnessed by the London public, saying “the mayor claims to have championed the Living Wage in London, but there has been no increase in the proportion of jobs paying LLW since 2005. The mayor’s Living Wage Campaign has so far tackled just 1.3% of the problem.

It is thought that the scheme has helped nearly 12,000 people in the UK improve financially since its implementation back in 2005.

If you are struggling with the cost of living there is help and support available, debt management companies can help you take control of your finances and charities and advice centres can also help you out with budgeting and other money matters.

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