Cardinal welcomes rise in London living wage
posted on 19 May 2006
The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, has welcomed the rise in the Living Wage announced by London’s Mayor, Ken Livingstone.
The Living Wage is the hourly rate calculated to take London’s workers out of extreme poverty. It was first set at £6.70 in April 2005. The new figure of £7.05 reflects rises in utility prices, according to the Mayor’s office.
Around one in seven of London employees receive less than £6.15 an hour. They are mostly migrant workers.
“I welcome the rise in the Living Wage to £7.05,” the Cardinal said. “This seems to be the bare minimum to ensure that the basic dignity of workers and their families is respected.”
On 1 May the Cardinal celebrated a Mass for Migrant Workers from across London at Westminster Cathedral. “While our nation benefits economically from the presence of undocumented workers, too often we turn a blind eye when they are exploited by employers,” he told the congregation.
The Living Wage, which was was adopted by the Mayor, was the result of a campaign by London Citizens, an commmunity-based organisation working with churches and mosques.
London Citizens also supported the Workers’ Mass on 1 May.