Who can live on the ‘National Living Wage’?

[Image: Toby Melville/Reuters].

[Image: Toby Melville/Reuters].

This Blog is quoting the BBC article on what is being called the National Living Wage for a reason.

The BBC says “so-called IS”. It refers to the “so-called Bedroom Tax”.

So it should also, when referring to Osborne’s gimmick, say “so-called National Living Wage”.

His increase to £7.20 per hour – for workers aged 25 and above only – is not the same as the actual living wage.

That would be £7.85 per hour for workers outside London, and £9.15 per hour for those within the capital.

So you can’t actually live on the so-called National Living Wage; you’ll still have to claim in-work benefits.

If this affects you: See how this Tory is ripping you off?

The new mandatory National Living Wage (NLW) has come into force, requiring employers to pay workers aged 25 and over at least £7.20 an hour.

It is expected to give 1.3 million workers an immediate pay rise.

The policy was announced in last summer’s Budget by Chancellor George Osborne, in an effort to create a higher-wage, lower-welfare economy.

Workers aged 21 to 24 will continue to be entitled to the National Minimum Wage of £6.70 an hour.

Source: National Living Wage comes into force – BBC News

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21 thoughts on “Who can live on the ‘National Living Wage’?

    1. Joan Edington

      Yes. I’ve already torn up my pensioners’ card. Scrapping Sunday double-time and 6-monthly bonuses as well as zone allowances. Anyone not acceptinng the new conditions is out, basically, unless the unions can do something.

  1. Giri Arulampalam

    Living Wage will be a token gesture by the Cameron regime as long as there is no legislation to regulate zero-hour contracts. Zero-hour contracts evade Minimum Wage legislation(& Living Wage legislation)!!!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Other way around – the minimum wage is topped up by benefits but the living wage, by definition, isn’t. It’s the amount you’re paid if you don’t rely on support from public money.

    2. Joan Edington

      Half right Barry. The old minimum wage was supposed to be enforceable and the old living wage was not. From tomorrow, the new living wage (the renamed minimum wage) is supposed to be enforceable and the actual living wage is being ignored as usual by the Tories. As Mike says, the minimum wage was topped up by benefits since it was not able to be lived on, whatever MPs said. We have to wait and see if top-up benefits will now be witheld since the Tories have decreed you can live on their new figure, plucked out of thin air.

  2. Terry Davies

    thats interesting giri. if zero hour contracts are not within the scope of the living wage who does it benefit. Isnt the living wage precluding all workers up to 25M
    Therefore it will be divisive of the young and encourage employers to reduce other employees wages.
    B and Q are the tip of the Iceberg. what other underhand methods will be used to reduce wages.?

  3. Joan Edington

    A nice quote from this morning that sums this up.

    “Finally, and crucially, the NLW is not actually a living wage because it isn’t based on the real cost of living, but on a proportion of earnings – and they often lag behind prices.
    The Resolution Foundation’s CEO, Gavin Kelly, summed the whole thing up rather nicely: “A minimum wage and a living wage are different things. I could call my cat Rover but he still wouldn’t be a dog.””

    In Scotland we have a voluntary scheme called the Scottish Living Wage, since the so-called living wage is a reserved issue. It is set at £8.25, the same as that quoted by the Living Wage Foundation. This is 15% or so above Osborne’s piddly con. The Scottish Government has signed up to this and is urging other employers to do the same. Currently they have well over 500 companies signed up. Some companies are even saying that they won’t trade with others unless they adopt the SLW too. Since it’s voluntary, not everyone gains, but it is definitely making progress.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Yes, there are many organisations in the rest of the UK that have also adopted the Living Wage (as described by the Living Wage Foundation – let’s call it the Actual Living Wage) – Powys County Council, here in Wales, is one. It’s not unique to Scotland.

      1. Joan Edington

        I agree Mike. There are reputable companies everywhere. My only reason in mentioning Scotland in this case was that I am pretty sure that the Tories won’t be signing the UK government up to the Actual Living Wage any time soon.

  4. hilary772013

    It is a farce my hubby was on minimum wage but they got a production bonus which they could remove for minor infringements and he now gets the new rate ( living wage) but now he gets no bonus to make up for the increase, so he is no better off than he was last year. He has to pass tests for his job but now he is on the same rate as cleaners, I wonder how other employers are getting round it?

  5. che

    Like Powys council, R.C.T council don’t actually pay a minimum wage, they pay the so called “Living wage” for its’ lower paid workers, with an added supplement on top.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Do you mean the actual living wage, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation?

      1. che

        They pay the minimum wage and then add supplements on top using a grading system depending on your job. No one actually gets the U.K governments “Living wage”.

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