Low pay shame: Almost one in three MPs aren’t paying the Living Wage

From James Lyon, Daily Mirror – 7 November 2012:

According to the Commons watchdog, 181 of 650 MPs are failing to pay the rate which was raised this week to £7.45 or £8.55 in London

Almost one in three MPs are paying staff less than the Living Wage – despite their party leaders calling for the cost of living pay rate to be adopted across Britain.

Both Labour’s Ed Miliband and the Coalition expect bosses across the country to sign up to the voluntary anti-poverty initiative.

But, according to the Commons watchdog, 181 out of 650 MPs are failing to pay the rate which was raised this week to £7.45 or £8.55 in London.

Max Freedman of the Unite union’s Parliamentary branch, which represents those working for MPs, said that was “outrageous”.

He said: “Parliament makes the laws and should lead the way in ensuring good employment practices.

“Yet, there are too many MPs who think they can get away with paying hard-working staff who are on the frontline, helping their constituents in tough times, wages that they struggle to get by on.

“All the main party leaders say they back the Living Wage.

“Instead of just paying lip-service to it they should ensure that MPs’ staff receive it.”

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority’s response to a Freedom of Information request came to light after the 25p Living Wage hike was announced on Monday.

The rise makes 45,000 people working for bosses who have signed up to the scheme, started by campaign group Citizens UK a decade ago, almost £500 a year better off.

About 100 employers are already signed up with dozens more on their way meaning big rises to thousands more workers.

The Living Wage is more than £1 an hour higher than the legally-enforced minimum wage, which went up just 8p to £6.19 for over 21s last month and stayed at £4.98 for 18 to 20-year-olds.

The expenses watchdog didn’t reveal the names or party of MPs who are paying less than the Living Wage.

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