#GE2010: Labour Manifesto to include "living wage" for Whitehall workers
I understand Labour's manifesto will contain a limited commitment to the "living wage" demanded by the influential community group London Citizens.
Labour will pledge that cleaners working for contractors in Whitehall will get whatever the London Mayor decrees as the living wage - currently £7.60 an hour. I understand this is the only significant move in the manifesto on employment law.
But this falls short of a national commitment by Labour to introduce a "living wage" ethos into business above the minimum wage. Despite being repeatedly trailed by Ed Miliband in Guardian interviews, I understand Labour nixed the idea because it would have been seen as circumventing the Low Pay Commission's work, which sets the minimum wage.
David Cameron this morning claimed the living wage as a Conservative policy.
I've covered the emergence of the idea during the past six years, from the windy leafletting sessions in Canary Wharf to the Conservative front bench, and watched the pressure build from groups in civil society that are supposed to be powerless: churches, mosques, unions, youth groups. But Labour's move leaves it as still a very London-centric issue.
Campaigners see what Labour has agreed to as an absolute minimum of what they could have delivered, given the Tory espousal of the principle. And it is certainly less than what was being briefed only a few weeks ago.