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Boris Johnson forced to accept need for London weighting to new ‘National Living Wage’

Under questioning from Fiona Twycross AM, the Mayor of London today accepted the need for a London weighting to the Chancellor’s new ‘National Living Wage’.

The Mayor warned that he is on the brink of a breakthrough deal with a major London retailer, which would make it the first large retailer to pay the London Living Wage (currently set at £9.15 an hour), and that the deal could now be undermined by the Chancellor’s ‘National Living Wage’ (to be set at £7.20).

Speaking in response to questioning from Fiona Twycross AM the Mayor said:

“We should be absolutely clear to London business that it is not going to be good to just pay the National Living Wage as that does not reflect the cost of living in London.”

“There is a risk of confusion, I want that confusion to be dispelled and I want everybody to be going for the London Living Wage.”

Labour’s London Assembly Economic Spokesperson, Fiona Twycross AM said:

Even the Mayor now recognises that the Chancellor’s ‘National Living Wage’ is a con unless it includes a substantial additional weighting for London. In the capital £7.20 isn’t anywhere near a living wage and would leave hundreds of thousands of low paid workers struggling to survive.

“The GLA has said that without tax credits, the true London Living Wage would have to rise to £11.65. Promoting £7.20 as a living wage is cynical gesture politics when the truth is it would reverse much of the progress we have made in recent years.”

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