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One in three black Londoners are paid 'poverty wages'

PEANUTS: One in three black Africans in London earn poverty wages

NEARLY ONE IN three Londoners from black African backgrounds are being paid poverty wages, a new study has warned.

The analysis, funded by Trust for London and published today (Oct 16) ,showed they are getting salaries that fall below the London Living Wage (LLW), an hourly rate set independently and updated annually.

The Trust said overall, one in five Londoners now get below the LLW rate of £8.30 per hour. The rate will be updated in November.

"There has been a 100,000 increase in the number of London jobs paying below the London Living Wage (LLW) – taking the total to 580,000. This means that 1 in 5 Londoners working in the capital are now paid poverty wages. The figure for Londoners from Black African is even higher and stands at almost 1 in 3 (30 percent)," The Trust said.

This is despite research by Queen Mary, University of London, showing that paying the Living Wage has big benefits for business, workers and the Treasury - and could save government £1 billion each year.

"Government could save almost £1bn a year because of the increase in the tax base and reduced welfare spending just from firms in London paying the Living Wage," The Trust added. "A two person household could get up to an extra £5000 a year."

Bharat Mehta, chief executive of anti-poverty charity Trust for London, said:

“This piece of research conclusively shows that paying the Living Wage benefits employers, workers and government.

“Government can save nearly £1 billion a year in London if companies in the capital pay the Living Wage; workers receive thousands more in wages and employers can reap HR, reputational and efficiency benefits.

"This means there is no reason for large numbers of companies to pay poverty wages in the capital."

Mehta added: “Paying the Living Wage gives people fair reward for the work they do and helps to tackle poverty and inequality in one of the most unequal cities in the developed world.”

The Living Wage campaign was launched in 2001 and has so far helped lift more than 15,000 families out of working poverty.

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