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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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A Living Wage

The UK Living Wage

The Archbishop together with Julia Unwin CBE Chief Executive of Joseph Rowntree Foundation /Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust launched the UK Living Wage in November 2012

The UK Living Wage is calculated by the Centre of Research in Social Policy and is based on work on Minimum Income Standards, carried out over four years by the JRF. In November 2012, it was announced that the rate for the UK outside of London as £7.45. Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, announced the new rate for London as £8.55

The Living Wage rate is designed so that recipients have a basic quality of life for themselves and their families.

The Archbishop said: “I recently sponsored a Fairness Commission in York and one of the Commission’s key recommendations was to call for a Living Wage to be introduced across the city. Introducing a Living Wage recognises that people should be paid a fair wage for a fair day’s work. We need to value each and every person, rather than cutting adrift those unfortunate enough to find themselves at the bottom.

“Paying a decent wage for our workers is a sign that as a nation – publicly, privately, corporately and individually – we recognise the unique contribution of others to the common good.”

The Living Wage Commission

In July 2013, it was announced that the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, was to chair an independent Commission on the future of the Living Wage .Bringing together leading figures from business, trade unions and civil society, Commissioners investigated what potential the increasingly popular concept of a Living Wage holds for Britain's five million low paid workers.  The Living Wage - a wage rate set to ensure a basic but acceptable standard of living - has gained increasing prominence in policy circles over the past decade. 

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, Chair of the Living Wage Commission, said: “Working, and still living in poverty, is a national scandal. For the first time, the majority of people in poverty in the UK are now in working households. The campaign for a Living Wage has been a beacon of hope for the millions of workers on low wages struggling to make ends meet. If the government now commits to making this hope a reality, we can take a major step towards ending the strain on all of our consciences. Low wages equals living in poverty.” 

The final report 'Work Must Pay' of the independent Living Wage Commission, can be found here: :