In this earlier post, a friend and I looked into whether the Living Wage (which David Cameron referred to 3 years ago as “the idea whose time has come” and is supported by all the main political parties) was being paid to all workers at DWP’s head office in Leeds. The answer was “no”, with 155 staff being paid below the national Living Wage of £7.45. DWP have subsequently confirmed they take no interest in what the companies they contract pay their staff despite Government Minister Brandon Lewis telling Hilary Benn that “The Government supports the living wage and encourages business to take it up where possible and affordable.” If you’re wondering whether it might not be “possible and affordable” in these cases then remember that a) we’re talking about some of the largest multinational companies in the world with revenues in the £billions, and b) it is cheaper overall to pay staff the Living Wage and make them economically active, as opposed to paying them less than the Living Wage and forcing them to claim top-up benefits. Continue reading
The Living Wage is a brilliant idea. If you pay employees enough to meet the actual cost of living and participate economically in society then it is good for them, good for the business they work for, and good for society. People will be happier. They won’t need to top up subsistence wages with benefits. They’ll be able to buy more goods and services to help fuel the economy.
It’s such a brilliant idea that it has cross-party support. The Prime Minister says it is “an idea whose time has come”. But here’s the problem: he said that 3 years ago and it’s still not Government policy. So why the delay and how do we get the politicians to deliver on their words? Continue reading