It is time for UK businesses to start supporting the living wage, the Archbishop of York argued to Britain’s business leaders today.
Archbishop John Sentamu delivered a stern and simple message to the Confederation of British Industry annual conference: “Work must pay.”
The living wage, which is set at £9.15 per hour in London and £7.85 in the rest of the country, is calculated to meet the cost of living.
Sentamu, who chaired the Living Wage Commission last year, cited figures from a recent KPMG study which found that for the first time the majority of people in poverty in the UK live in a working household, and that 5.28m people are paid less than the living wage.
“The minimum wage, introduced fifteen years ago, was a small step in the right direction, but it has been clear for some time that this is inadequate, and many people in work are experiencing increasing poverty,” argued Sentamu.
“That is why I am committed to urging all those who can, to pay their workers a living wage.”
Over recent years there has been ample evidence that there are flaws in the practice of free market economies…...A major limitation of free market economy is that it has no mechanism to reduce the disparities between the haves and have nots. Indeed, because of the imperfection in market mechanism, free economy tends further to increase the disparities between people.Let us make the paying of the Living Wage the litmus test for a fair recovery and let us help our country become a place where the wellsprings of solidarity, of a new, undivided society can spring up.Income inequality is the giant of our time, which we must slay.