Don’t listen to the scaremongering: London can support a new living wage

A higher minimum wage of £8 an hour would not lead to significant job losses in London

 

A higher minimum wage of £8 an hour would not lead to significant job losses in London, according to new research.

Despite claims that the chancellor’s new National Living Wage (NLW), starting from £7.20 an hour in 2016, will lead to job losses, research by the Centre for London found that from October 2015 a London-specific minimum wage could be set between £7.05 and £8 an hour.

Previous research by the organisation found that London could support a higher minimum wage that could progressively be increased to a long-term rate as much as 20 per cent higher than the national level without leading to job losses.

The latest research, which updated the think tank’s previous estimate, has concluded that from October 2015 a London-specific Minimum Wage could be set between £7.05 and £8 an hour.

But it has warned that the majority of the 60,000 job losses the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) has estimated will occur as a result of the NLW are likely to be outside London.

Earlier this month the director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) John Cridland warned that increasing the minimum wage was a “gamble”:

“But wages can only grow as businesses grow. A £7.20 National Living Wage in 2016 and a £9 National Living Wage by 2020 are laudable objectives, but they are a gamble.”

Commenting on the analysis, Labour London Assembly economy spokesperson, Fiona Twycross AM said:

“The government’s ‘Living Wage’ is many miles away from what you actually need to live on in the capital. It’s a purely half-hearted gesture that risks condemning people to poverty by removing the incentive for businesses to pay a true London Living Wage.

“With the cost of Living in London so high, we’re in need a far more ambitious approach for the capital. Anything short of a true London Living Wage will undoubtedly leave thousands of low paid workers struggling to get by in the capital.”

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today. 

4 Responses to “Don’t listen to the scaremongering: London can support a new living wage”

  1. blarg1987

    Lidl must be living in fantasy land then if it can increase wages and not prices.

  2. woohoo002

    They seem to have multitasking staff, unlike the major retailers, look at stack e’m high- sell em cheap coming up for Tesco, back to the roots indeed.
    The same could be said for the DWP high street staff, so compartmentalised – probably by fear of making their colleagues redundant, they are unable to do anything useful 🙂

  3. blarg1987

    Many supermarkets have multi tasking staff, even the big chains do, like Sainsburys.

    Not all jobs however can not be multi tasking, for example you can’t expect a person who works in say HR to be able to work in sale straight away without retraining.

Leave a Reply