Christians for Economic Justice

Previously called Christianity Uncut

Living Wage Week

This week is Living Wage Week, when faith groups, unions and individuals across the UK are pushing for all employers to pay a Living Wage.

When the government and their allies complain about the high cost of the welfare bill, let’s remember that much of this goes on tax credits and housing benefits.

Tax credits go to people who are in work but not earning enough, usually because their employers are not paying them decent wages. Housing benefit is high because there is no cap on private sector rents (so in this case, the real benefit recipients are the landlords).

Payment of a Living Wage would reduce the welfare bill and, more importantly, tackle poverty. Currently the vast majority of the UK’s largest companies do not guarantee a Living Wage to their staff.

Our friends at Share Action are urging people who own pensions to email their pension fund about the living wage. If you have a pension, you can urge the fund to add to the pressure for a living wage within the companies in which it invests. Share Action have produced an online form to make the process quick and easy.

Share Action say we should “use the massive influence of our pension savings” to “get these companies to pay up”.

This tactic works. When Share Action launched their “Just Pay!” campaign for living wages two years ago, just three of the biggest 100 hundred companies in the UK paid the Living Wage. Due to the campaign, ten more of these corporate giants have signed up.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.

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