Time for a Real Living Wage for Scotland

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Monday July 17 2017

SNP calls for £5k more for 500,000 workers by 2022.

New figures from the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe) show that SNP plans for a real Living Wage would see almost half a million Scots earning around £5,000 more by 2022.

While the Tories’ sham “National Living Wage” has suppressed wages at £7.50 per hour for those over 25 – and only £5.60 for those aged 18 to 20 – the Living Wage Foundation’s real Living Wage is independently calculated as £8.45 an hour.

This rate applies to all workers over 18 in recognition that young people face the same living costs as everyone else. 

The SNP’s general election manifesto supported a UK-wide move to increase the minimum wage to the level of the real Living Wage, meaning all workers would earn more than £10 per hour by 2022 – creating a new single rate for adults.

Scotland already has the highest proportion of workers paid the Living Wage of any country in the UK and has taken action in government to ensure that all public-sector employees earn the real Living Wage.

Commenting, Edinburgh Eastern MSP Ash Denham said:

“Low pay is a driver of increasing inequality – and by suppressing wages with a phony ‘living wage’ the Tories are contributing to that problem, not fixing it.

“Scotland is leading the way on fair pay with 845 employers now signed up on a voluntary basis to giving their workers a real Living Wage.

“And in government, we’ve done what we can in our public sector to ensure that hard-working staff get the fair wages they need to live on.

“But in the next five years we want to see real change across the whole of the UK – moving to a real Living Wage for everyone, increasing wages to over £10 per hour by 2022.

“And that standard would apply equally to everyone in work above the age of 18, since young people share the same pressures in meeting the costs of living.

“That would mean a £5,000 boost to pay packets for half a million people in Scotland.

“This is just one part of the SNP’s vision to improve the lives of people in Scotland, improve productivity in the workplace and lift Scotland’s economy.

“All parties at Westminster should get on board with that vision and give Scotland the powers and the finance to deliver what’s best for the people of Scotland.”



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