London Rising: The Case for a London Minimum Wage

There is good reason to think that a minimum wage that works for the rest of the country doesn’t work for the capital. In this report we make the case a for a London minimum wage.

When the national minimum wage was first introduced, in 1997, many people worried that it would cause unemployment. Yet there is now widespread consensus that there has been little effect on employment levels, whilst the policy has ensured that people who work are fairly rewarded, with correspondingly reduced reliance on benefits. All the main political parties now support the minimum wage – indeed they are examining ways of strengthening it.

London Rising applies the methodology used to determine the national minimum wage to the London economy.

The distinctive structure of the London economy means that the capital could bear a higher statutory minimum wage than the rest of the country.

The report argues that the Low Pay Commission should be required to recommend a London minimum wage in addition to a national one, with the power to set a London rate given to the Mayor.

Key findings

  • The London economy could support an adult minimum wage today of around £6.75 per hour, seven per cent higher than the national minimum wage rate of £6.31 per hour, without threatening jobs and competitiveness.
  • Over time we calculate this differential could rise to around 20%, equivalent to a London minimum wage rate of £7.57 today.


This report was generously supported by