One in seven Londoners below poverty pay levels

One in seven Londoners are earning wages that fall below the poverty level, according to a report from the Greater London Authority (GLA).

The first report from its Living Wage Unit calculated the hourly wage needed to live comfortably in the capital.


It identified “a wage that achieves an adequate level of warmth and shelter, a healthy palatable diet, social integration and avoidance of chronic stress for earners and their dependants”. The report suggests that an employee in London needs to earn £5.70 an hour to achieve this standard of living, largely due to the higher housing costs.

The report concluded that the poverty threshold wage for employees in London stood at £5.80 per hour. However, the research also shows that one in seven workers in the capital earn less than this.

Around 230,000 employees earn wages below this level, while 170,000 earn between £5.80 and £6.70.

The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, described the report’s findings as “disturbing”, and said they provided further evidence of the need for “an adequate supply of affordable housing in London”.

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