THE Archbishop of York has praised city leaders for introducing a “living wage” for council workers.

City of York Council agreed to raise the salaries of 570 of its lowest-paid staff to £7.45 an hour, higher than the legal minimum wage, last year and is now set to do the same for 120 casual staff as part of efforts to tackle poverty in the city.

In a letter to council leader James Alexander, Dr John Sentamu said he was “delighted” the living wage had been brought in at the authority and that it would also be factored into its contracts with external firms.

He said the wage was one of seven key recommendations made by the city’s Fairness Commission, writing: “Introducing the living wage recognises that people should be paid a fair wage for a fair day’s work. I believe we need to value each and every person and ensure those in work are not trapped in poverty due to low pay.

“Paying a decent wage for our workers is a sign that, as a nation, we recognise the unique contribution of each person to the common good.”

Coun Alexander tweeted that he was “very proud” to have received the letter.