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The five lowest paid areas in the UK are all in London


London has the highest cost of living in the country, so you’d hope that Londoners were paid accordingly. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case for everyone. A study by the Living Wage Foundation (LWF) has found five London boroughs to be the worst-paid areas in the UK

Haringey, Brent, Waltham Forest, Bexley and Redbridge all have the highest number of low-paid jobs in proportion to the cost of living, the study revealed.

The ‘Employee jobs paid below the Living Wage’ report used data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) to look at which places in the UK have the highest rates of pay below the Real Living Wage. The Real Living Wage calculated by the LWF is different from the National Living Wage which doesn’t take into account the cost of living in different areas. The LWF says its real living wage rates ‘are the only UK wage rate to be independently calculated on the cost of living’.

At the time of the study, which took place in April 2023, the Real Living Wage was calculated at £11.95 per hour for London and £10.90 for everywhere else. 

In Haringey, almost a third of people (32.7 percent) were earning below the hourly real living wage. It was followed by Brent (29.5 percent), Waltham Forest (28.8 percent), Bexley (28.5 percent) and Redbridge (28.2 percent).

Also in the top ten worst paid places in the UK were Hyndburn in Lancashire, Harrow (also in London), Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, East Lindsey in Lincolnshire and Thanet in Kent.

Across the country, 12.9 percent of employee jobs (3.7 million jobs) were paid below the Real Living Wage in April 2023. Despite London having the highest average salaries in the country, London’s scale of jobs paid below the Real Living Wage (13.3 percent) was slightly higher than that of the UK as a whole.

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As much as we might try and pinch our pennies, the cost-of-living crisis is affecting everyone – even Salt Bae. The butcher-turned-internet-meme has had to turn off the heating in his restaurant to save money. Meanwhile, this borough has the city’s cheapest council tax.

Did you see that this London borough has the worst recycling rate in the UK?

Listen to Time Out’s brilliant podcast ‘Love Thy Neighbourhood’: the newest episode with Jon Pointing in Deptford is out now.

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