London Living Wage rise in hourly rates is welcomed by Tower Hamlets’ mayor

Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs

Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs - Credit: Archant

The increase in the London Living Wage to £9.75-an-hour has been welcomed in the deprived East End with its large ratio of low-paid workers.

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs has today pledged that his local authority will pay the increase to care workers—it was one of the first town halls in the country to sign up to a national campaign for improving low pay which originated in the East End itself a decade ago.

“An increase in the Living Wage is only fair that workers are paid enough to live on,” the Mayor said.

“We cannot tackle the East End’s poverty if our workers aren’t paid a fair wage for their work, especially with London’s high cost of living and the recent stagnation of wages.”

The original Living Wage campaign was started in 2006 by Telco, The East London Community Organisation based at Whitechapel.

Tower Hamlets Council and the big banks in Canary Wharf were among the first to sign up to it.

The campaign then developed to take on a ‘London Living Wage’ to reflect the higher cost of surviving in the metropolis.

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It led to Mayor Biggs signing the Ethical Care Charter earlier this year, setting out minimum pay standards.

“I guaranteed that our care-workers would receive the London Living Wage,” he added. “This sets a benchmark of fairness for workers.”

The increase was announced at City Hall on Wednesday by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, with 1,000 London businesses now pledged to pay the new rate. Tower Hamlets Council is one of 1,033 ‘Living Wage’ accredited employers in London.