News

Sentamu calls for living wage to make work pay for lowest earners

10 February 2014 | by Liz Dodd

The Archbishop of York has warned that unless employers to pay their staff a living wage millions of low-paid workers could be left in poverty despite the economy beginning to pick up.

Archbishop John Sentamu’s remarks came on the day that the independent Living Wage Commission, which he chairs, issued a report calling on employers to pay more than the minimum wage if they can.

In an article for The Independent, he wrote that because of low wages, “millions of people in low-paid employment are having to rely on benefits and debt to get by." He added: “For millions of hard-pressed people, work is no longer a route out of poverty.”

The living wage, which is £7.65 an hour, or £8.80 in London, is higher than the legal UK minimum wage of £6.31 an hour and is calculated according to the basic cost of living.

According to the commission, more than five million workers are paid less than the living wage. Meanwhile it calculated that food now costs 44 per cent more than in 2005 and energy prices have doubled in the last nine years.

Archbishop Sentamu said that millions were forced to take on two or three jobs to make ends meet, and warned that this increased the cost of in-work benefits and tax credits to UK taxpayers.

"With the economy showing signs of recovery, employers that can pay a living wage must do so. They should choose between continuing to make gains on the back of poverty wages, or doing the right thing and paying a fair wage for a hard day's work," he told the BBC.

Archbishop Sentamu said that despite widespread support for the living wage among senior politicians including the Prime Minister, the majority of government departments were yet to implement it in their own workplaces.

In his Independent article he added that implementing a living wage would help to rebuild the moral fabric of society. “We need to re-establish the principle of making work pay. We need to re-establish the notion that a hard day’s work can put food on the table, a roof over our heads and provide us with the time to spend with our families,” he said. “If we are serious about making work pay, we need to be serious about bringing an end to poverty wages.”



Article List


TABLET WORLD…
Latest Issue

Digital/PDF Version

PDF version (iPad-friendly)

Previous Issues
Latest Tweet
Most Read Articles

German bishops abandon controversial Missal translation09 October 2017 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Change Catholic teaching to make death penalty 'inadmissible', says Pope12 October 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Pro Francis theologians start petition in support of Pope following 'filial correction' 18 October 2017 by Christopher Lamb

German bishops abandon controversial Missal translation09 October 2017 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Change Catholic teaching to make death penalty 'inadmissible', says Pope12 October 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Pro Francis theologians start petition in support of Pope following 'filial correction' 18 October 2017 by Christopher Lamb

Martin Luther’s new religion: Luther’s teaching on justification by faith alone demanded a complete reshaping of ChristianityPremium11 October 2017 by Richard Rex

Changing minds and hearts: the basic moral test of a society and its laws is the treatment of human life at its most vulnerablePremium18 October 2017 by John Wilson

Royal escape: historian and uncle to Princes William and Harry, Charles SpencerPremium11 October 2017 by Joanna Moorhead

Martin Luther’s new religion: Luther’s teaching on justification by faith alone demanded a complete reshaping of ChristianityPremium11 October 2017 by Richard Rex

Changing minds and hearts: the basic moral test of a society and its laws is the treatment of human life at its most vulnerablePremium18 October 2017 by John Wilson

Royal escape: historian and uncle to Princes William and Harry, Charles SpencerPremium11 October 2017 by Joanna Moorhead

Share Us
Tablet Subscription

Manage my subcription here

Manage
Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter

Sign Up
Top