The Living Wage Commission has published an analysis of low pay and working poverty with a warning that 1 in 5 working people could miss out on the economic recovery.
The report highlights the changing nature of poverty in the UK with the fact that for the first time the majority of people in poverty are in a household where at least one person works. Some of the findings include:
• The number of people paid below a Living Wage (£7.65 an hour and £8.80 in London) has increased by 9%, or 400,000, in the last 12 months.
• Housing costs have tripled in the last 15 years, one and a half times the amount by which wages have risen. Electricity, gas and water bills have risen 88% in the last five years.
• A Living Wage employee gets nearly double the amount of family time during a typical working week as somebody on the National Minimum Wage
• Prices of ‘everyday’ items have risen faster than high priced goods. For example, food costs 44% more than in 2005 and energy costs have more than doubled, while vehicle costs have remained stable and the cost of audiovisual equipment has halved.
The regional analysis shows that 435,000 workers in Scotland, 20% of the workforce, earn less than the living wage.