It’s not all bonuses and seven figure salaries in banks outside the City of London. FairPensions are running a campaign to pressure banks to pay living wages (enough to live a basic but comfortable live) to the lowest paid employees of banks and other large corporations.
They want you to email your bank here and ask them to pay a living wage to all their staff – including the cashiers and the cleaners.
What is a ‘Living Wage’?
According to FairPensions,
“a Living Wage is the minimum hourly wage necessary for housing, food and other basic needs for an individual and their family. Living Wage rates are based on Minimum Income Standards methodology and take account of real living costs for essential goods and services. Within London, the Mayor’s Office announces the Living Wage figure each year – currently £8.30 per hour. Outside London, the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University has calculated a single rate for the regions which is £7.20 per hour. Accredited Living Wage employers ensure all their own staff and those of their on-site contractors are paid at least the Living Wage across all UK operations.”
Low pay is a problem that leads to poverty. As the FairPensions website states:
“Low pay is a growing problem in the UK. Excluding young workers, amongst whom low pay is even more prevalent, 3.5 million working adults aged over 22 were earning less than £7 in 2010. Two thirds of these were women. Low pay has a particularly significant impact on children. In 2008/9, 2.2 million children growing up in households below the poverty line had at least one parent in work, accounting for 53% of all poor children in the UK. Between 2003/4 and 2008/9, the number of poor children in households with a worker grew by 25% (450,000 children). Low pay is closely associated with others social disadvantages including poor health, substandard housing and personal debt.”
Of course, we would add that one of the greatest re-distributions of money away from the poor comes through the debt-based money system, which forces the general public into debt to the banks. This system needs to be tackled with fundamental banking reform (see our proposals) but in the meantime anything that encourages banks to spread their profits a little more widely would help.
You can email your bank here.