Later this month our benevolent Mayor will announce plans to introduce a "living wage" for all staff employed by the Greater London Authority and any organisations funded by the London Development Authority, says a report in the Guardian. He will also encourage hoteliers to do the same before the Olympics.
Boris has been under pressure to introduce these measures from various groups, to improve the lot of those at the bottom of the food chain in one of London's worst-paid industries. Last year London was judged the world's second most expensive city to live in (no sh*t!), and moreover, the fifth most expensive place on the planet to book a hotel room for the night. A chambermaid on the current minimum wage of £5.52 would have to change a week's worth of soiled sheets to scrape enough pennies for a single night's stay - an average room costs £115, and breakfast is unlikely to be included at that price. With London having the world's priciest transport system, she might not have enough money left to even get there.
So credit to Boris for trying to help London's oppressed. However, one has to wonder how hotels will respond to a plan that will reduce their margins even further with the credit crunch starting to bite and when there seems to be no shortage of cheap labour in the capital.
By Stephen Cromwell