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World News

'Real' Living Wage would benefit us all 'to the tune of £165m,' Archbishop of York says

by Kelly Valencia

The Archbishop of York believes "linking pay to the cost of living" so people can make ends meet is a "brilliantly simple idea". 

Writing in The Yorkshire post, Most Rev Stephen Cottrell quoted new research by the Living Wage Foundation and the Smith Institute which found that if wages of over 300,000 workers in Yorkshire were raised to the real Living wage, the local economy would be boosted by £165 million. 

Archbishop Stephen wrote: "It is this pay-back into the local economy which means that money spent on raising the wages of the poorest is one way to promote growth and not just to stoke inflation.

"Over 11,000 employers have already signed up to pay substantially higher wages than the £9.50 minimum 'National Living Wage' they are bound to pay by law. 550 of those are based in Yorkshire."

"By earning the real Living Wage, their staff will be nearly £3,000 a year better off than those earning the legal minimum. In a cost of living crisis, what an astounding difference that figure would make to individuals and families." 

Reports suggest that the current national living wage in the UK of £9.50 per hour could increase to £10.40 during the budget announcements on Thursday - it would represent at ten per cent increase. 

Archbishop Stephen continued: "I've long been a supporter of the Living Wage movement. The principles it is built on are threaded throughout the Bible.

"A real Living Wage is a promise - a fair day's pay for a hard day's work. That enshrines the values of compassion, dignity and justice in action. There can be no doubt that many employers will struggle to stay afloat in the coming months and difficult decisions are inevitably needing to be made, but I want to commend those 11,000 employers who have already made the commitment to pay staff in line with the cost of living."

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