Dismore questions Mayor over London Living Wage and in work Poverty

At today’s Mayor’s Question Time, Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden Andrew Dismore AM questioned Mayor Sadiq Khan over the importance of extending coverage of the London Living Wage, recently increased to £10.55 per hour, to combat in work poverty in the capital.


Mr Dismore asked:

‘What action are you taking to encourage London’s businesses to pay the new London Living Wage rate, particularly during these uncertain economic times due to Brexit?

‘Do you agree that the recent report of Professor Philip Alston,  the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, shows the impact of in work poverty; for example families with two parents working full time at the national minimum wage, deceptively rebranded by the Conservative Government as the  national living wage, are still 11% short of what is needed to raise a child; and that this shows the necessity of paying the London Living Wage, but  the proportion of jobs in London paid below the London Living Wage, now £10.55 per hour is higher than it has ever been, with 1 in 5,  around 820,000,  jobs in London  paid less?

‘Would you also agree with the conclusion of the UN Rapporteur, that poverty in the UK since 2010 has been a political choice, and that ‘austerity could easily have spared the poor, if the political will had existed to do so’; and that given the failure of the Conservative Government  to address growing poverty, the London Living Wage is vital to the wellbeing of less well-off families in London and in overcoming the current shortcomings of the social security system, especially Universal Credit?’

The Mayor said that:

The London Living Wage is a “win-win” for employees and employers, with better productivity. He is leading by example, with all GLA staff paid at least the LLW. He is also making TfL advertising free for the LLW campaign this month. He urges employers to become accredited, especially those that Londoners identify with, such as football clubs and museums. He is dismayed that the government is not helping employers of EU nationals to prepare.

He agreed with everything said. Re-branding the minimum wage was ridiculous. Employers should look at the benefits such as better morale and lower sickness absence.

Policies have cause and effect. The direct consequences of budget cuts since 2010 has been more poverty than otherwise would have been the case; and continuing austerity will mean more in poverty. Welfare reform is sensible if done properly, but should look at the evidence – more food banks, more arrears, more poverty from Universal Credit


  • Andrew Dismore is the Labour London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden