New Living Wage – UNISON reaction

Commenting on the new Living Wage rates announced today, UNISON General Secretary, Dave Prentis said:

“We need good employers to speak up for the advantages of paying a Living Wage.  And public sector employers should be leading the way, setting an example, but sadly there is still a long way to go.

“The Living Wage pays just enough to provide a decent life for workers and their families. Taxpayers’ should not be forced to subsidise Scrooge employers by picking up the bill for in-work benefits. Opponents of the minimum wage forecast massive job losses when it was brought in, but the opposite was true – it acted as a real stimulus to the economy.”

New research commissioned by UNISON from leading economist, Howard Reed has found that an estimated 58,000 new jobs could be created through the introduction of a Living Wage.

The findings support UNISON’s long-held view that a pay rise for low paid workers creates a virtuous cycle of economic growth.  More people have more money to spend in local shops thus bolstering local employment.  The Treasury wins, as less people will have to rely on in-work benefits and the tax take is higher.    If the savings were used to re-invest through tax cuts or public spending increases, this would create a “multiplier” effect, argues the author.

Ends

The Living Wage rate will increase by 20p an hour to £7.65 outside London and £8.80 for London
 
Copies of the report are available from the UNISON press office