Making Cardiff a Living Wage City – get involved this St David’s Day

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St David’s last words were ‘do the little things’, the well-known maxim in Wales. This St David’s Day, employers across the Capital are being asked to think about the things they can do to join over 160 organisations in making Cardiff a Living Wage City.

Even small steps towards becoming an accredited Living Wage employer will make a big collective difference to the estimated 24,000 people in Cardiff who are not paid a wage which covers living costs.

‘Little things’ might be finding out more about the real Living Wage in Wales, reading the latest updates on Welsh Government’s commitments for care workers, reading about what it means for employers and workersregistering interest in becoming accredited or understanding the support available from Cardiff Council. 

Living Wage accredited employers in Cardiff will be sent a digital pack and encouraged to join with promoting the real Living Wage across the city.

Making Cardiff a Living Wage City

In 2019, Cardiff became the first Capital City in the UK to be recognised as a Living Wage City. Led by Cardiff Council, Citizens Cymru, Cardiff University and other Living Wage Champions, three-year targets were set with the aim of increasing the number of workers uplifted to a real Living Wage to over 6,500 (from a baseline of 4,500).

Thanks to the support of employers across the city, the initial targets were reached in November 2021. Whilst the Living Wage movement has continued to grow across Wales, the Living Wage City focus means Cardiff employers account for 43% of all Living Wage accreditations in Wales.

Despite this progress, 13 percent of households in Cardiff are living in poverty and 24,000 people are not paid a real Living Wage.

As the costs of food and energy continue to rise, people living in Cardiff should be able to live and not just survive. That’s why the team behind Making Cardiff a Living Wage City has set new three-year targets to take the total number of people uplifted to at least 11,000 by April 2024 (from a total of 7,949 at the end of December 2021).

For more information about targets, please see the Living Wage for Wales website.  

A note on the real Living Wage vs the UK Government minimum wage

Unlike the UK Government minimum wage (‘National Living Wage’ for over 23s – £8.91 rising to £9.50 in April 2022) the real Living Wage is the only wage rate independently calculated based on rising living costs – including fuel, energy, rent and food. A full-time worker earning the real Living Wage would earn £1,930 a year more than a worker earning the current government minimum (NLW). For a worker today that’s the equivalent of 7 months of food bills and more than 5 months’ rent based on average household spending in the UK. Even on this April’s higher NLW rate of £9.50, a full-time worker on the real Living Wage would earn £780 more.   

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