Lewisham offers rate discounts for London Living Wage employers

Lewisham Council writes:

"We are offering a one-off discount to businesses of up to £5,000 on their business rates, if they become accredited London Living Wage employers in 2016–17.

"The level of discount you can get will depend on what type of organisation you are and the number of employees you have.

"For details click here."

One in four people working in this borough are paid less than the London Living Wage, so the issue of low pay is a sizable one.

The vast majority of Lewisham businesses and charities employ fewer than ten people and thus qualify for a £250 saving.

To claim the money, employers also have to go through a fair amount of administrative faff, including getting accreditation from the Living Wage Foundation, which costs £50. Private and public sector time alike will thus be eaten up in administration for a sum which may not be enough to nudge many employers in the right direction.

To boost the long-term earning potential of Lewisham residents, the Council might be better to protect its budgets for libraries, education and training, rather than spend limited resources on this sort of well-intentioned footling.