Steve Rotheram is marking National Living Wage Week by writing to the city region’s 50 biggest employers, asking them to introduce the Real Living Wage for their employees.
Across the Liverpool City Region, 155,000 people – more than a quarter of the workforce – are paid less than the Real Living Wage.
A report from The Smith Institute, published in September, showed that paying the Real Living Wage to just a quarter of those currently paid less would provide a one-off dividend to the local economy of £30 million, with an ongoing £10m a year boost, as well as raising those individuals’ annual income by £1300 each.
Steve Rotheram said:
“It used to be the case that the best cure for poverty was finding a job but that is no longer true. It is a national scandal that one in eight people in work are living in poverty.
“That is why I am writing to the 50 biggest employers in the Liverpool City Region, asking them to become Real Living Wage accredited employers.
“Paying the Real Living Wage is not just the right thing to do, there are significant benefits for individuals, businesses and the wider economy. 93% of companies who have introduced the Real Living Wage say it has benefitted their business and research has shown that paying just a quarter of those who currently don’t receive the Real Living Wage would boost the city region’s economy by £30m as a one-off, and by £10m every year from then on.”
The Real Living Wage was devised by the charity the Living Wage Foundation, which argues that the government's National Living Wage is not high enough to meet workers' needs, and encourages employers to adopt its more generous, independently calculated rate.
The compulsory National Living Wage is currently £7.83 an hour for anyone over the age of 25. The Living Wage Foundation has announced the 2018/19 rate of the Real Living Wage is £9 an hour.
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority became the first combined authority in the country to become an accredited Real Living Wage employer in November 2017.