NEWS: The Mayor says no to compulsory Living Wage

The UK is celebrating Living Wage Week but the Mayor says it will remain voluntary. 

Boris Johnson says although he does believe in the Living Wage, making it compulsory could hinder small businesses from creating new jobs in the capital.

The Mayor says he is still behind a voluntary Living Wage Campaign, which recommends employers to pay their staff a minimum of £8.55, over £2 more than the national minimum wage of £6.31.  However, when the question was addressed at the last Mayor’s Question Time, he replied that making it compulsory is “not the way forward”.

He says the voluntary Living Wage Campaign has so far put 60 million pounds into the pockets of London’s poorest and “companies who can afford to pay their staff the Living Wage should.

The Mayor says he agrees with Business Secretary Vince Cable who said in an earlier statement that a compulsory living wage could destroy jobs.

The Mayor says lowering taxation and National Insurance for low income takers is a better solution.

John Hood from The Equality Trust says he would be “disappointed to see the Living wage go”. Although he agrees some businesses could struggle to pay it, he says it could also work to their favour, as higher wages would help put more money back into the economy.

The UK is celebrating Living Wage Week between 3-9 October. The first Living Wage Week was celebrated last year. This says the Living Wage campaign helped draw attention to the scheme resulting in new employers embracing the idea.

The London Living Wage is part of the nation-wide Living Wage Campaign. It is an hourly rate which is updated every year and calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.

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