The Archbishop of Canterbury has called upon all employers to pay the ‘living wage’, telling them to “just get on with it”, despite the fact that the Church of England of which he is Primate fails to do so itself.
Many of the people who help support and organise the church on a local level from day to day are unpaid volunteers, but of those who are paid, 72 employees are known to be paid under the living wage, reports the Daily Mail. Although the church insists it is working on the pay-rises for its worst paid staff, these will only be incremental and won’t start until later this year.
The strong words by the archbishop come as a foreword to a book which is playing its part in the recent politicisation of the church. The book, written by the Archbisop of York, calls for a reconfiguration of the economy and for “Solidarity” to replace capitalism.
The apparent disconnect between the contents of this book, what it advocates, and the actions of the church has invited some scorn. Conservative Philip Davies MP said “He should be getting his own house in order before he goes around lecturing everyone else… there are many small businesses around the country that might have considerably more difficulty raising wages than the CofE”.
“Archbishop Welby might want to take the log out of his own eye before he complains about the speck in everybody else”.
The Living Wage is a construct leveraged by left-wing groups to point out what they perceive as shortcomings in the national minimum wage. While the government mandated minimum wage presently sits at £6.50 an hour, the group of charities which arbitrates over the minimum wage believe it is impossible to live from such a wage and call for a £7.85 level for employers to pay. In London, with the cost of living factored in, they say one should be paid £9.15 as a standard, the equivalent of nearly £18,000 a year.