More than one million public sector workers earn below the real Living Wage, according to new research.
Data calculated by the Smith Institute, for the Living Wage Foundation, found 1.2 million public sector workers earn less than £9 across the UK, and £10.55 in London, per hour.
Survation conducted a poll, on behalf of the foundation, which found 64 percent of the public agree all public sector workers should be uplifted to the real Living Wage, rather than just the government minimum.
The foundation said this is “not just a moral argument” and the money spent uplifting these employees, 35p in every £1, would go back to the Treasury in increased tax receipts.
Kevin Hollinrake MP, chair of the APPG on poverty, said: “It would be an inspirational move and a welcome signal to others for the public sector to lead the way in paying the Living Wage, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation.
“It is unsustainable to continue to subsidise employers who pay lower wages through income support measures such as tax credits. The payment of a wage that people can live decently on is absolutely the right way forward.”
Lola McEvoy, campaigns and communications manager, the Living Wage Foundation, said: “It’s simply wrong that our teaching assistants, cleaners, carers and catering staff – paid on public money - are struggling to keep their heads above water on wages that don’t meet basic living costs.
“The public support this, politicians support this, the Treasury would benefit from this – there’s no reason not to do it. It’s time for our public institutions to lead by example and join nearly 5,000 employers who pay the real Living Wage.”