Northern Ireland news

Finance Minister Conor Murphy welcomes largest increase in Living Wage

The rise to £10.90 is the largest in the Living Wage Foundation's 11-year history
Rebecca Black, PA

Stormont Finance Minister Conor Murphy has welcomed a 10.1% increase in the Living Wage.

The rise to £10.90 is the largest in the Living Wage Foundation’s 11-year history.

Mr Murphy said the new social value procurement policy, which includes payment of the Living Wage, is making a positive difference to people and the environment.

The Scoring Social Value policy came into effect on June 1 2022.

It requires that social value makes up at least 10% of the award criteria alongside price and quality.

It also mandates that staff working on government contracts are paid at least the Living Wage.

All government tenders issued since June 2022 have included payment of the Living Wage as a condition of contract.

“The new Living Wage set by the Living Wage Foundation has seen a 10.1% increase – the largest year-on-year rise in recognition of the sharp increase in living costs over the past year,” Mr Murphy said.

“A full-time worker earning the new, real Living Wage would earn £2,730 a year more than a worker earning the current national minimum wage.”

“As an accredited Living Wage employer the Civil Service is committed to paying civil servants and our agency staff at least the Living Wage. Today’s increase in the Living Wage Foundation rate will mean that hundreds of civil servants will automatically have their pay uplifted in accordance with the deadline mandated by the Living Wage Foundation rules.

“The new Social Value policy requires companies bidding for government contracts to pay staff working on that contract the Living Wage.

“Earlier this month, agreement was reached with contractors to ensure that more than 500 staff providing security and ancillary services will benefit from payment of at least the Living Wage.

“In this cost-of-living crisis it is important that workers are paid the Living Wage. Already we can see the positive impact this policy is having on tackling low pay.”

Mr Murphy and Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey visited Inch Abbey in Downpatrick where they met Idverde and McGrath Contracts Ltd who have recently been awarded the grounds maintenance contract for state care monuments.

Ms Hargey said: “This contract will ensure our historic monuments are maintained to the highest possible standard supporting heritage and tourism while also delivering real meaningful environmental, social and economic benefits.”

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