UP TO a quarter of earners in some areas of Gwent are earning less than the living wage, revealed a report published yesterday, as it was also announced the national living wage will rise.

The report, carried out by KPMG, showed 25 per cent of earners in Wales earn under the living wage, which is four per cent more than the UK average. Newport proved to fare better then the Welsh national average, with just 20 per cent of its 69,000 earners beneath the living wage.

But elsewhere, 25 per cent of Torfaen and 24 per cent of Blaenau Gwent earned less than the living wage. Blaenau Gwent had the lowest median wage of Gwent, at £9.52 per hour.

The living wage for the UK – outside London – is calculated independently and annually by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University and yesterday rose 20p from £7.45 to £7.65 per hour. The UK minimum wage however, is £6.31.

The report found bar staff and waiter/waitresses were among those most likely to paid less than the living wage. After London, the best performing region in terms of living wage earners was the South East of England.