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Londoners cannot live on minimum wage - report

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Londoners cannot live on minimum wage - report

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Communities, Finance

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The vast majority of Londoners do not believe that the minimum wage is enough to live on in the capital, a new report has revealed.

'Fair Play in London' shows that 94% of Londoners think the minimum wage is too low to sustain a decent quality of life.

Published today by Fiona Twycross, London Assembly Labour Group economy spokesperson, the report also found that two-thirds of lower-income Londoners have seen their standard of living fall in the past three years, along with 71% of the capital's disabled inhabitants.

And a further 74% of disabled residents are expecting their standard of life to fall further in the next three years.

The report alludes to research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that concluded in 2013 that single people in the UK need at least £16,850 a year before tax for a minimum acceptable living standard.

The JRF also noted that "the cost of the minimum household budget of goods and services required for a decent standard of living is rising faster than the official rate of inflation".

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that around 117,000 Londoners are on the minimum wage. Before tax, the minimum wage equates to £12,070 per year.

Labour is calling on mayor Boris Johnson to take action to drive forward take up of the London living wage, pilot schemes to help disabled and BAME Londoners into work and to introduce a six-month jobs guarantee for young Londoners who have been out of work for 12 months or more.

The living wage is calculated as the minimum rate needed to sustain a basic but acceptable standard of living, and is set independently and updated annually. It is currently set at £8.55p/h in London.

Fiona Twycross said: “Poverty pay is a growing problem in London, in 2007 there were 420,000 people paid below the London living wage.

"By 2012 this number had increased to 600,000, this represents 17% of all the jobs in London. This means there are hundreds of thousands of Londoners in work, today, who are being paid a poverty wage. This should shock us out of complacency.

“As today’s report shows Londoners of all incomes are struggling as rent, energy, childcare and transport costs continue to rise.

"There is also a deeply worrying pattern that it is the lowest paid, the disabled and black and minority ethnic Londoners who are being hit hardest by the cost of living crisis. We need the Mayor to increase voluntary take up, and if that doesn’t work to lobby government to increase the minimum wage to a London Minimum wage, as a stepping stone to a statutory living wage for all.”

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