17:29 29 October 2012
A new study, undertaken by Markit for the accountancy firm KPMG, has found that nearly five million workers in the UK are paid less than what is thought to be required to meet the basic standard of living.
The report concludes that one in five British citizens are affected by this. The hourly pay rate is £8.30 for London (£7.20 elsewhere in the country) although this does not have to be adhered to by employers, unlike the National Minimum Wage.
The law for the minimum wage stands at a pay rate of £6.19per hour and this relates to working persons aged 21 and above.
The findings are to be published before the Living Wage announces their current rates in early November.
Markit’s research states that the people who suffer the most economically are bar staff and restaurant workers. As reported by The Independent, almost half of low-paid workers have said their finances are worse now than in September.
The report found Northern Ireland to have the largest amount of people who earn less than what is considered to be required for a standard living, with Wales following closely behind.
The General Secretary-designate for TUC, Frances O'Grady, has exclaimed that companies should take on the standard rate. As reported by The Independent, Ms. O'Grady finds the figures that relate to those people on a lesser income than what is ideal “shocking”.
In the same news report, the head of corporate affairs at KPMG, Marianne Fallon, is referred to as saying there were sound business reasons for adopting the standard rate, including workers having “improved motivation and performance”.
Ms. Fallon is quoted by the BBC stating that: “Paying a Living Wage makes a huge difference to the individuals and their families and yet does not actually cost an employer much more.”
UK workers have suffered financially in recent times, including having to endure the rise in taxes. The findings come at a time when the double-dip recession has been declared as being over.
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