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A Living Wage For London

Mr Retro

Beware hedgehogs
It's an hourly rate isn't it?

£6.70 sticks in my head from last time because I remember laughing my bollox off at it? I suppose it's a few pence more at about £6.90 or so. Which is about half what a realistic figure is.
 

marty21

One on one? You're crazy.
the big factor is housing costs, at a stretch i could probably live on 15k as i only pay about 200 quid a month for my bit of the mortgage, but average rents are fairly high i would have thought
 

citydreams

on the road again
LGA Economists said:
The Family Budget Unit, estimates the costs of a ‘Low Cost but Acceptable’ (LCA)budget for a selection of typical or model families. This approach calculates the wage required to meet those costs, and is also termed the Basic Living Costs approach.

Next, using the ‘Income Distribution’ approach, 60 per cent of median income is taken as the poverty line. This is consistent with the Government’s usual definition of relative poverty. This approach estimates the wage required to achieve 60 per cent of median income for the same typical or model families.

An average of these two methods is used to calculate a ‘poverty threshold’ wage. However, a ‘living wage’ must yield a secure margin ensuring that the person involved does not fall to the level of poverty wages. Therefore, a margin of 15 per cent is applied to the poverty threshold wage, to obtain the living wage in London. This is added to protect individuals against the possibility of falling into poverty as a result of unforeseen expenses.

Taking the average of these two figures gives the estimate of the ‘poverty threshold wage’ of £6.15 per hour. Adding the 15 per cent margin to the calculated poverty threshold wage, yields a fi gure, when rounded to the nearest 5 pence, of £7.05 per hour as the living wage for London.
Which basically means it's not a living wage at all, it's an average of what everyone earns.

GLA said:
The Living Wage Unit will continue to undertake research in particular to increase our understanding of the patterns of low pay in London, and trying to improve our estimates of the incidence of low pay in London.
wankers
 

Sweetpea

Uncle Roger drunk
marty21 said:
the big factor is housing costs, at a stretch i could probably live on 15k as i only pay about 200 quid a month for my bit of the mortgage, but average rents are fairly high i would have thought
Yup, that was my reason for quoting high. My living costs are "Graciously subsidised" but looking around at average rental it looks as if a Londoner could easily lose £10 -15k to rent, another £1,000 to Council Tax, £2,000 on utilities? Then food =£ Travel =£ Clothing
 

trashpony

Ovaries and tings
So basically that's still £2 an hour more than minimum wage. No wonder we have more children living in poverty in London than in the rest of the country :(
 

marty21

One on one? You're crazy.
Sweetpea said:
Yup, that was my reason for quoting high. My living costs are "Graciously subsidised" but looking around at average rental it looks as if a Londoner could easily lose £10 -15k to rent, another £1,000 to Council Tax, £2,000 on utilities? Then food =£ Travel =£ Clothing
we're lucky in a lot of ways, we bought at a time when prices were very low, i doubt i could afford to pay the mortgage on this flat now if i was buying it today (actually i doubt i would be able to get a mortgage on it)
 

subversplat

writer of wrongs
If you interpret it as "Living in London costs £7.02 an hour" that works out to be £61,000 a year. Plenty enough for me :D
 

scifisam

feck! arse! girls! drink!
£7.02 for a 40 hour week works out at £14601.60 per year, gross. Tax on that would not be too bad, since it is a low income; student loans wouldn't have to be paid back; most people would be able to get working tax credit to top it up (whether they have kids or not). Even without taking WTC into account, I'd say that roughly £970 per month net (I'm hazarding a guess at tax and NI taking out 20% of income; correct me if that's eqregiously wrong) is easily enough to live on. Even if you go down to a 35-hour week it's liveable.

Rent for a room in a shared house? £350-£400 pcm (you can get cheaper, but it's not always easy, so I've gone for the higher end of the range). In some areas you can get a small flat for little more than that. Add in council tax (if it's not included in the rent), bills (again, presuming they're not included), travelcard (if necessary), food and social costs, and it's still not bad. Luxurious, no, but fine as a basic living wage.
 

Roadkill

Well-Known Member
The cost differential between London and the north is staggering, IMO. In Hull, I could rent my own flat and live reasonably well on a take-home pay of about £8k per year. I'd never live in London if I weren't earning a reasonable salary.
 

scifisam

feck! arse! girls! drink!
Just me and my daughter. I did apply for benefits, but it got screwed up and eventually I gave up - trust me, in my position anyone would have; it wasn't worth the effort and stress.

Background: I'm a PGCE student and get the teacher training bursary of £6000, plus student loan in theory, but in practice I have only got another thousand in student loan and grant (I'm also theoretically exempt from council tax, if the council would accept that I live alone). I don't get any other help with childcare costs - oh, I do get child benefit though.

My rent's quite cheap, and it has been very, very hard, but I'm still here on way, way less than £900 pcm. In fact, when I was working I only briefly went above the £15,000 threshhold and didn't have any money problems at all at that time. I'll be on a normal wage from next month - I shall live like a King!

£14,600 gross wouldn't afford a great standard of living, but you could live on it. If someone's paying £10,000-£15,000 to rent then they really need to move flat!
 

citydreams

on the road again
scifisam said:
Background: I'm a PGCE student and get the teacher training bursary of £6000, plus student loan in theory, but in practice I have only got another thousand in student loan and grant .
Sorry for being nosey.. do they not give you the £6000 until you pass the PGCE?
 

citydreams

on the road again
to be fair, I think scifisam has got his sums wrong.. no-one pays you for your lunch hour, so the annual wage, less bank holidays is really around the £12k mark.
 

arty

New Member
less any days you're sick, less any holidays you take (often unpaid in the first few months of a job), no it's fuck all really.
 

Zappomatic

New Member
When a job is described as 35 hours a week, that doesn't mean 35 hours spent on the working day - it means the time you're actually working and paid for, so not getting paid for a lunch break is irrelevant. My working week is 9 to 5.30, Mon to Fri, but I get an hour and a half of unpaid breaks each day so that takes what would be 42.5 hours a week to 35 hours. And isn't it quite normal to get paid for bank holidays, time off sick and holiday?
 

scifisam

feck! arse! girls! drink!
citydreams said:
to be fair, I think scifisam has got his sums wrong.. no-one pays you for your lunch hour, so the annual wage, less bank holidays is really around the £12k mark.
I wasn't counting pay for lunch hour. You can check my figures yourself. It's not unusual to work 40 billed hours, but I did mention that even at 35 hours (40 minus 5 hours for lunch), it's not that bad either - it's £12,776. With a regular tax code and NI on top, that's £873pcm net. Hard to live on, but not impossible - very hard to support a family on, but theoretically you wouldn't have to (thanks to WTC), and in practice you would usually get quite a big top-up.

Lots of employers don't pay for sick days, true, but they are legally obliged to pay for bank holidays if that's your rostered day on. If they don't pay holiday pay, like with some temp agencies, then the hourly rate is supposed to be increased, as holiday pay is also a legal obligation (20 days minimum), no matter how long you've been there.

That kind of money wouldn't enable a great lifestyle. It would pay the rent and bills, some childcare (which would mostly be taken care of by WTC anyway, at that wage), and leave some money for going out and so on.

(FYI, I'm a she, though I wouldn't expect anyone to know that from my name).
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Citydreams - you're thinking of the 'Golden Hello,' which I think I will get when I start my job (not everyone gets it). The £6000 I'm talking about is the teacher training salary, paid monthly during the course (well, paid for none months of the ten month course, anyway).
 

gaijingirl

Well-Known Member
citydreams said:
Sorry for being nosey.. do they not give you the £6000 until you pass the PGCE?
You don't get it (if you qualify for it at all) until 1 year and 1 term later. You do your PGCE. Then you do your NQT year. Then you have have to work one whole term - then you get it - although people I worked with got it by the October half term. :)
 
I've said numerous times that I left the country primarily because of the impossibility of finding secure accommodation in London. This is the real problem. I was on 22K, not great money but not poverty wages by any means: and I couldn't find so much as a studio flat to rent on anything like what I could afford.

But the odd thing was, I could afford to go out, to have a holiday or two, to live pretty well by the standards of the world generally. Obviously I wouldn't accept it if somebody on 40K told me I was doing all right - I have a real and justified animus against people on comfortable incomes telling the less comfortable what they should accept - but nevertheless, leaving questions of social inequality to one side for a moment, I wasn't doing so badly except for the ludicrous level of housing costs. "Housing ladder" nothing, I couldn't afford to rent a flat on my own, and that as a professional at the age of forty. The result was endemic stress (since without secure accommodation, you can be out on your ear at any time) and a permanent feeling of not being valued by the society to which I contributed.

Wages are important - you won't find me saying any different - but it's housing costs, in London and the South-East, that are the real problem. That's where you need precisely the sort of sizeable government intervention that you are not going to get.
 

citydreams

on the road again
scifisam said:
Citydreams - you're thinking of the 'Golden Hello,' which I think I will get when I start my job (not everyone gets it). The £6000 I'm talking about is the teacher training salary, paid monthly during the course (well, paid for none months of the ten month course, anyway).
So one hand offers you a living wage approx £12k a year and the other offers you £6k to get a job where you'd be hoping to be payed more than that. Welcome to London.

p.s. I only thought you were blokey cause you said you'd live like a king :)
 

Sunray

Its sunny somewhere.
I would go as far as to suggest that you need 18 maybe even 20k to make London comfortable.

Entirely depends on your lifestyle though.
 

arty

New Member
Zappomatic said:
And isn't it quite normal to get paid for bank holidays, time off sick and holiday?
It is if you're in a half decent permanent job, but many people who are earning near this "living wage" and who are paid hourly don't get this.


Donna Ferentes said:
I've said numerous times that I left the country primarily because of the impossibility of finding secure accommodation in London. This is the real problem. I was on 22K, not great money but not poverty wages by any means: and I couldn't find so much as a studio flat to rent on anything like what I could afford.

But the odd thing was, I could afford to go out, to have a holiday or two, to live pretty well by the standards of the world generally. Obviously I wouldn't accept it if somebody on 40K told me I was doing all right - I have a real and justified animus against people on comfortable incomes telling the less comfortable what they should accept - but nevertheless, leaving questions of social inequality to one side for a moment, I wasn't doing so badly except for the ludicrous level of housing costs. "Housing ladder" nothing, I couldn't afford to rent a flat on my own, and that as a professional at the age of forty. The result was endemic stress (since without secure accommodation, you can be out on your ear at any time) and a permanent feeling of not being valued by the society to which I contributed.

Wages are important - you won't find me saying any different - but it's housing costs, in London and the South-East, that are the real problem. That's where you need precisely the sort of sizeable government intervention that you are not going to get.
Come off it, on £22k you can easily find a studio flat in London.
I often hear people talking about how hard it is to get on the housing ladder, or to rent a decent place, compared to how it was, say, for their parents, but this is because previous generations didn't expect to buy/rent a house and go out every week, pissing £50-100 up the wall, buy a new mobile every six months, have a nice car, flatscreen TV, every appliance going, and and go on holiday every year with a few short breaks in the meantime.
It actually isn't that much harder now, people just expect way more and refuse to give up certain things.

Only 2 years ago, my partner and I were able to rent a place in London and live reasonably well on a sole income of £17 grand. Yeah, the flat was a bit shit, but if I had a nother 5 grand this wouldn't have been a problem. You can live on £17-18k.
 
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