David Stewart MSP

MSP’s renewed call for a “Scottish Living Wage”

6 May 2010

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP David Stewart has again called for the introduction of a ‘Scottish Living Wage’ to help families out of poverty.

If proposals made by the Living Wage Campaign get the go ahead a wage of £7 would be introduced and then reviewed annually.

It is estimated that 500,000 workers in Scotland are currently paid less than £7 an hour.

Mr Stewart, who spoke in a Scottish Parliament debate on the matter on 29t April, said:

“The majority of children in poverty have at least one parent in paid employment so a national living wage would make a real difference to their lives.

“It would also mean employers would make savings by retaining staff and thereby reducing recruitment costs.

“Such a scheme would also have the advantage of making families of the workers involved less dependent on benefits and credits.

“Many people criticised the introduction of the Minimum Wage but it has helped lift people out of poverty and I believe a national Living Wage would be of further assistance.”

He added: “Poverty wages are bad for business and communities and have no place in Scottish Society which is part of the fifth biggest economy in the world.

“Making work pay is the route out of poverty.

“Over 70% of people employed in the hotel and restaurant sector, which plays such a big part in the economy of the Highlands and Islands, earn less than £7 an hour.

“If we introduce a Living Wage we can give them a hand-up rather than a hand-out.”

Under the scheme private sector employers and local government and Scottish Government contractors would be encouraged to build a living wage into their contracts.

A Scottish Living Wages Employer Award would be developed to encourage wider uptake by employers in the public private and voluntary sectors.

Research suggests that those receiving the extra money would spend more, pumping between £37million and £91million into the Scottish economy.

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Written by davidstewart

May 6, 2010 at 10:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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