Students hold ‘wages not wine’ protest

27th January, 2014 by Lucy Shaw

Students of King’s College Cambridge held a “wages not wine” protest yesterday after it emerged that the university spent nearly £3m on wine last year.

One protestor holds up a “Wages not Wine” placard. Credit: King’s living wage campaign

As reported by Varsity.co.uk, there was a considerable turnout despite the rain, with protesters holding placards and chanting the slogan: “wages not wine.”

The protest comes in response to figures released by The Daily Telegraph that revealed Cambridge’s 30 colleges spent £7.9m on wine in three years.

Spending was highest at King’s College, where £338,559 was spent on alcohol in the 2012/13 academic year, with £50,000 going on free wine for fellows.

According to The Cambridge Student, King’s College continues to pay over 100 members of its staff less than the minimum wage.

Living Wage campaigners have dubbed this an “outrage”, with Barney McCay, leader of the campaign, hailing the protest a “big success”.

“The amount spent on wine demonstrates the fact that the King’s can afford to pay the living wage. They should prioritise doing so,” said protestor and Cambridge student Gabriel Flemming. 

King’s College Council is due to meet on 7 February to discuss the Living Wage.

One protestor assured The Cambridge Student that if the campaign was not successful, similar protests and “pressure” would follow.

Tuition fees at the prestigious university are now set at £27,000 for a three-year degree.

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