Four of the candidates to become Mayor of London have pledged to introduce a Living Wage for all hospitality workers in the Capital by 2012.
Labour candidate and incumbent Ken Livingstone, Conservative candidate Boris Johnson, Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddock and Sian Berry from the Green Party agreed to act on proposals drawn up by campaign group London Citizens to introduce a London wide ‘living' wage of £7.20 per hour.
At closed door debate at Central Hall in Westminster last night, Livingstone said he supported proposals to pay London hospitality employees above the legal National Minimum Wage (NMW) rate of £5.52 per hour.
The mayor said his own experience of implementing the same policy at the Greater London Authority in March 2005 had meant employees there "do not have high sickness rates, are working better and are happier at home".
Johnson said he would adopt the proposals because "the gap between rich and poor has widened in the past ten years" and Labour's move to reduce the ten per cent starter rate on tax for people on lower incomes meant that people needed a living wage.
Paddick said that Londoner's could not be proud of hosting the Olympics if people did not earn a living wage, while Berry said there was no party more enthusiastic about the proposals than the Green Party.
All four candidates also agreed to adopt a proposal that only hotels and restaurants who were living wage employers would be promoted by Visit London and tourist guides ahead of the Olympics.
By Christopher Walton
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