Rising numbers fail to earn the Living Wage

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The number of workers in the north west earning less than the Living Wage is rising.

The annual Living Wage research report by KPMG published today estimates that more than 600,000 workers receive less than the living wage in the region.

That works out at just under one in four workers – an increase from the same time last year when the figure was one in five, or 21 per cent.

The new Living Wage rate will be announced later today, with an increase expected from the current rate of £7.65.

Preston Council already pays its employees the living wage – a rate higher than the minimum wage and said to be high enough to ensure a normal standard of living.

TUC Regional Secretary for the North West, Lynn Collins said: “People go to work and expect to earn enough to live on.

“For those paid below the living wage, they are not getting a fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work.

“Low pay is blighting the lives of hundreds of thousands of families across the region.

“And the consequence is we have to spend on tax credits to subsidise low paying employers and we bring in less in tax.”

She added: “The fact is there are employers out there across the North West who can afford to pay living wages, but aren’t.

“It is now time for all responsible employers to commit to adopting this standard, which enables workers to earn just enough to be able to live a decent life.”