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Huge gulf between Mayor’s rhetoric and actions on London Living Wage – Stephen Knight

November 2, 2015 7:21 PM

Stephen Knight AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly economics spokesperson, commenting on today's announcement of an increase in the London Living Wage said:

"I welcome the increase to £9.40 an hour, and I obviously welcome any new employer who signs up to pay the London Living Wage.

"However the big picture is that the number of Londoners paid less than the London Living Wage has soared during Boris Johnson's time as Mayor of London. The estimated number of employees paid less than the Living Wage has increased by more than 50% since 2008 and now stands at over 900,000 people.


"The Mayor likes to boast about his support for the London Living Wage but in reality he has been slow in even writing supporting letters to London's employers. Quite incredibly he even believes in keeping their replies confidential.

"The harsh reality is that low pay has soared in London under Boris Johnson and his actions have been feeble in highlighting the real record of some of London's lowest paying employers."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. Mayor's pledge to the London Assembly, made in a letter dated the 24th September, responding to a motion passed by the London Assembly on the 1st July 2014.

https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/54%20Mayor%20to%20Chair%20re%20motions%20agreed%20at%201%20July%20Plenary_1.pdf

2. Mayor's reply to written question asked by Stephen Knight in October 2015:

Correspondence regarding London Living Wage

Question No: 2015/3194

Stephen Knight

Further to your answer to MQ2015/2583 will you outline when you intend to write to these business and will you publish any replies on the London.gov website?

Written response from the Mayor

GLA officers liaise with the Living Wage Foundation regularly to agree lists of employers for me to write to where I can add most value in encouraging them to become accredited. As a part of this continuing process I will be writing to more retail sector businesses over the coming months. Unfortunately for reasons of commercial sensitivity it will not be possible to publish any replies on the London.gov website.

http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/question_284128

3. It is estimated that over 900,000 London employees are paid less than the London Living Wage - a considerable increase in the number of employees over the last few years.

http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/question_280199