Call for higher London minimum wage


London should have a higher national minimum wage because of rising living costs and growing in-work poverty, a new report has argued.

The Centre for London think-tank and Trust for London charity said the capital's economy could support an adult rate of £6.75 an hour, 7% higher than the statutory figure of £6.31.
The higher rate would increase the pay of around 175,000 workers by up to £800 a year, said the report.

Kitty Ussher, the report's author, said: "Our research shows that firms in London have barely been impacted by the minimum wage. Looking at the effect in the rest of the UK, this means there is scope for it to rise in London without jeopardising jobs."
The report noted that a growing number of firms were now paying the so-called Living Wage, set at £8.80 an hour, but the total was still small.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady commented: "The growth of poverty pay is a scar on the capital's welcome economic revival.

"A minimum wage supplement for London - alongside more living wage employers - would help alleviate working poverty and this report shows that businesses in the capital can afford it."

© 2013 Press Association
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