In 2013, Labour Borough Councillors successfully campaigned for Bedford Borough Council to ensure they pay all directly employed staff at least the Living Wage.
The hourly rate of Living Wage is set nationally by the Living Wage Foundation and is based on the cost of living. Every year this is assessed and this week the Foundation announced the new rate – an increase of 40p per hour to £8.25, applicable to all employees over the age of 18.
Leader of Bedford Borough Labour Group, Councillor Sue Oliver, said: “We welcome the increase in the Living Wage and want to highlight that this is what a ‘Living Wage’ really is. It is regrettable the Government has confused the issue by renaming the National Minimum Wage as the National Living Wage. At £7.20 per hour and only payable to people aged over 25 to call it a National Living Wage is misleading and detracts from the hard work of the Living Wage Foundation and the success of their campaign. I’m pleased that Bedford Borough Council recognises the ‘real’ Living Wage, and is taking a lead as one of the major employers in the area.”
Councillor Yasin, Portfolio Holder for Adult Services, added; “This is a good news story, especially for the care workers now employed by Bedford Borough Council in the homes we took over from BUPA. They now receive the real Living Wage unlike the vast majority of care workers in the rest of the Borough - or the country for that matter.”