WEST Oxfordshire District Council has become the latest Oxfordshire authority to agree to pay its staff the “living wage”.

Oxford City Council implemented the higher wage last year and Oxfordshire County Council is considering introducing the scheme.

The living wage is calculated based on the cost of living and at £7.45 an hour outside London is higher than the national minimum wage of £6.19.

It is a voluntary scheme run by the Living Wage Foundation.

Simon Hoare, West Oxfordshire District Council cabinet member for finance, said: “I just feel it is the right thing to do. I hope this continues the message that we value our staff at all levels and all disciplines across the council.”

The increase, which has been included in the council’s budget, will see 13 cleaners currently paid the minimum wage see their incomes increase.

If the budget is agreed, the pay rises will come in from April 1 next year and will cost the council about £5,000 extra annually in its wage bill.

The district council’s cabinet will discuss its budget today.