Rhys Moore, director, Living Wage Foundation said:
“We are delighted that the announcement made in the Budget this lunchtime will see over 2.5 million workers receive a much needed pay rise. This is a massive victory for Citizens UK and those communities, workers and business leaders who have campaigned for a Living Wage since 2001. We agree with the Chancellor that work should be the surest way out of poverty. However, this announcement raises several important questions.
“Is this really a Living Wage? The Living Wage is calculated according to the cost of living whereas the Low Pay Commission calculates a rate according to what the market can bear. Without a change of remit for the Low Pay Commission this is effectively a higher National Minimum Wage and not a Living Wage.
“Secondly, what about London? We have been working with the Mayor of London for seven years and there’s a London Living Wage rate that recognises the higher costs in the capital, currently £9.15 per hour. These changes will not help the 586,000 people for whom even the 2020 rate announced today would not be enough to live on now.
“Thirdly, what about the 2 million under-25s who are not covered by this announcement? To make sure workers in London and those under 25 do not lose out, we call on employers to join the group of 1,600 organisations that have already chosen to become voluntary Living Wage employers.
“And, lastly, do the tax credit changes announced today mean that the Living Wage needs to be higher to make sure people have enough?
“The Living Wage Foundation, members of Citizens UK and the 1,600 accredited Living Wage employers look forward to an early meeting with the Chancellor to address these questions and help the millions of workers who deserve a pay rise.”