Councillors’ no to Living Wage plan
2:00pm Saturday 2nd March 2013 in News
Devizes Town Council has rejected a suggestion to adopt the Living Wage policy for its staff.
Sue Buxton, secretary of Devizes Constituency Labour Party, wrote to the town council calling for it.
The Living Wage is set by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University and it is currently £7.45 an hour, outside London. It is not a statutory requirement and is above the minimum wage of £6.19 an hour (for people aged over 21).
In her letter Mrs Buxton wrote: “Citizens UK, who first launched the Living Wage campaign in the UK in 2001, argue that over the last decade 45,000 people have been lifted out of working poverty as a direct result of the Living Wage.
“There are currently 11 local authorities in the UK that are fully accredited as Living Wage employers and there are several councils working towards it.”
The town council’s community and civic resources committee discussed the request last week and Margaret Taylor was the only councillor to speak in favour of it.
The extra cost to the town council in implementing it would be about £700 a year, the committee was told.
Simon Fisher, the deputy town clerk, said: “When we calculate a job we value the job not a person’s circumstances.”
Councillor Ray Parsons said: “This policy affects many small businesses and most do not have the resources to support it.”