Over a quarter of workers in Croydon were paid less than the London Living Wage in 2014, according to new estimates.
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) estimated that 25,000 jobs in Croydon paid less than the Living Wage last year, but these figures did not differentiate between full-time and part-time work, so some of these jobs may have been held by the same people.
Chris Philp, MP for Croydon South told EastLondonLInes: “I was very pleased to see the minimum wage increase substantially and I would encourage all firms to pay the living wage.”
The minimum wage was raised by 20p to £6.70 earlier this month. However, the Living Wage is a voluntary pay scheme, which is set by The Living Wage Foundation, a campaigning charity.
It’s currently set at £9.15 per hour in the capital, and £7.85 for the rest of the UK, but is due for renewal on November 2 and could be increased.
The government came under criticism for introducing its own living wage in July, which will require all employers to pay £7.20 an hour to workers aged 25 and over from April next year, as this is less than the rate set by the Living Wage Foundation.
The Croydon Guardian wrote that 11,000 people were paid less than the Living Wage in 2014 as set by the foundation, but ONS were unable to confirm this when contacted by EastLondonLines.
Philp described the difference between the minimum wage and the living wage as “objectionable.”
The Croydon South MP explained that he wrote to David Norgrove, Chair of the Low Pay Commission in June to state that “A significant increase in the minimum wage would be beneficial not only for those receiving it, but for all levels of society.”
“In the first instance, a higher minimum wage is an incentive for those who claim benefits to join the work force. The impact of this is less of a burden on the tax payer to be subsidising lower paid workers,” he said.
The Low Pay Commission is an independent organisation that advises the government about the minimum wage.
ONS estimated that 26.9 per cent of Croydon workers earned less than the Living Wage, as set by The Living Wage Foundation last year, compared to 24.9 per cent in Lewisham, 18.5 per cent in Hackney and 9.3 per cent in Tower Hamlets.
The estimates also showed that the borough of Harrow had the highest number of workers earning lower than the Living Wage at 41.8 per cent, with the City of London having the lowest figures in London at just 5.2 per cent.