UNISON has welcomed the new living wage rates, announced simultaneously in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Manchester this morning.
They new rates are:
- £8.45 an hour for the UK outside London;
- £9.75 an hour within London, to take account of the higher cost of living there.
These rates are based on the minimum income standard for the UK – how much someone needs to earn for a basic but decent life.
They differ from the government’s so-called ‘national living wage’, which is a rebranded minimum wage for over 25s.
The announcements came at the start of Living Wage Week, “a time each year to talk about making work pay, while remembering that millions of people in our country still work for poverty wages,” as general secretary Dave Prentis noted.
He welcomed today’s announcement of new rates as “an independent and verifiable level of pay which meets the most basic needs – quite literally, a wage upon which someone can be reasonably expected to live – and then campaigning for employers to pay it.
“UNISON has been proud to support and campaign for the living wage from the outset,” he said.
“And the living wage has become an integral part of our own campaigning, whether in the social care sector or the water industry.”