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Boris snubbed by London businesses after “lacklustre” efforts to encourage London Living Wage

The Mayor of London has been criticised for his “lacklustre” efforts after it was revealed that a recent letter-writing campaign to get businesses to pledge to pay the London Living Wage has resulted in only three businesses signing up. According to information released to Fiona Twycross AM, the Mayor wrote to 51 London businesses between March and June this year encouraging them to pay the London Living Wage, little more than a third of which responded, and only three of those who replied have subsequently signed up to the scheme.

According to the Mayor’s Office, of the 51, 19 have replied with 10 indicating they will ‘investigate’ becoming accredited and only three going on to sign up to pay the London Living Wage.

Dr Twycross said the Mayor’s failure highlighted the “wide chasm between what the Mayor says is happening to Londoners’ pay packets and the reality of ever increasing poverty pay in the capital.”

The criticism of the Mayor’s “lacklustre” efforts to persuade employers to pay the London Living Wage comes after it was revealed that 917,000 Londoners currently earn below the London Living Wage.

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

“Low paid Londoners need far more than the Mayor’s lacklustre letter-writing campaign to break the cycle of poverty pay. It’s clearer than ever that there is a wide chasm between what the Mayor says is happening to Londoners’ pay packets and the reality of ever increasing poverty pay in the capital.

“The Mayor talks up his achievements on the London Living Wage, but the reality is that every year since 2010 more people have been dragged into low paid work partly as a result of Boris Johnson’s failure to get businesses signed up to pay proper wages.

“There is no escaping the fact that as both a proportion of the workforce and in overall numbers, the amount of people paid less than the living wage has massively increased during Boris Johnson’s time as Mayor. The city Boris leaves behind in May will be more polarised and poorer than the one he inherited – that is a record nobody should be proud of.”

Notes

-       The question from Fiona Twycross AM to the Mayor on his efforts to convince businesses to pay the London Living Wage is available here:

Question No: 2015/3045

Fiona Twycross

Please provide an update to your response to question 2015/2467. Of the 50 businesses you wrote to in March 2015 about the London Living Wage how many have now (a) responded and (b) indicated they will become accredited Living Wage Employers?

 Written response from the Mayor

I wrote to 28 businesses at the end of March and 23 businesses at the beginning of June.  19 businesses have responded, and within these 19 replies, 10 have indicated they will investigate becoming accredited and 3 have now signed up to London Living Wage accreditation.

 

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