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East Anglia Future 50

On the government living wage? You could be earning £1,800 less a year than those on the voluntary rate

PUBLISHED: 19:35 30 March 2018 | UPDATED: 19:35 30 March 2018

The government's national living wage is going up on Sunday - but it will still be lower than the voluntary living wage. 
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The government's national living wage is going up on Sunday - but it will still be lower than the voluntary living wage. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

Workers on the government’s national living wage would have to work an extra month to earn the same as those on the higher, voluntary rate, new research claims.

On Sunday, April 1 the statutory minimum will go up from £7.50 an hour to £7.83 for over 25-year-olds.

But this is still lower than the voluntary living wage of £8.75 an hour outside London, and £10.20 in the capital.

The Living Wage Foundation said a full-time worker on the statutory rate receives almost £1,800 a year less than those on the higher, voluntary figure – a shortfall which would take 33 days to make up.

Calls were made for more East Anglian employers to commit to paying the voluntary living wage after research by KPMG found one in five employees in the region was not receiving the higher rate.

Tess Lanning, director of the Living Wage Foundation, said: “There will be a welcome pay rise for some of the UK’s poorest workers. However, over 5.5 million workers will still find themselves earning less than a real living wage, and struggling to make ends meet.

“For these people, the government minimum won’t be enough to cover the basics, save for a rainy day, or provide security for their families. That’s why we need to see more companies step up and pay a real living wage based on the cost of living.”

Around 4,000 employers are accredited with the Living Wage Foundation, meaning they are committed to paying the voluntary rates.

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