THE lowest earning workers at City of York Council will be paid the national living wage of £7.45 per hour from April, according to leader James Alexander.

After committing to the recommended UK rate when it was unveiled to the media earlier this month, Coun Alexander confirmed yesterday that the council would introduce it in spring 2013, using economic infrastructure funds.

However, he said that the source of the extra cash for the following year was uncertain and that there would have to be staff re-evaluation – though the council would have 12 months to reach a solution.

Coun Alexander said: "We have been working with partners in the city and across the region to make progress on the Living Wage and the procurement of goods and services, in a way that is fair and sustainable.

"Our commitment to this must start with ensuring our own lowest paid staff benefit from a Living Wage and we have a plan in place to make sure this happens."

Kersten England, council chief executive, added: "The Living Wage was a headline recommendation of the Fairness Commission and I'm proud that we are making this commitment to our staff and that we are at the forefront of an increasing number of local authorities delivering on this commitment."