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ROSEANNA CALLS ON TORIES TO EMBRACE REAL LIVING WAGE

Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP has marked the start of Living Wage Week (5th – 11th November) by calling on the Tory government to use UK government’s upcoming budget to take action now to bring their National Living Wage up to the level of the Real Living Wage, an action that would make a real difference to working people’s lives.

The Tories have attempted to portray their comparatively paltry £7.50 an hour minimum wage as a ‘Living Wage’ – despite only applying to those over 25, and being currently nearly £1 an hour lower than the Real Living Wage. Those under the age of 25 are entitled to even smaller amounts – taking more money away from young people in our economy at the same time as their access to social security, including housing benefit, is being cut.

Figures provided by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre have shown that raising the National Living Wage to the level of the current Real Living Wage would boost incomes by nearly £2,000 a year – with those on the minimum wage for 21-25 year olds benefiting from nearly £2,700 extra a year.

Ms Cunningham said:

“It’s time for the Tories to get real over the living wage.

“Absolutely nobody has been fooled by their attempts to rebrand their minimum wage as the ‘National Living Wage’ – which does anything but what it says on the tin.

“With prices rising as a result of the Tories’ disastrous Brexit and interest rates going up, it is more vital than ever that we raise wages across the country to ensure people can afford to live – because heaven help people if they are unfortunate enough to require the ‘support’ of Universal Credit.

“The economic and social benefit of raising wages cannot be understated – taking away the stress of where your next meal might come from and instead giving people that little bit more financial security that can make a big difference to people’s lives.

“Taking action to pay people the Real Living Wage could raise wages by nearly £3000 a year – these changes would be transformational.

“More money in the pockets of the lower paid means more money circulating in the local economy, whereas tax cuts for the very rich just leads to offshore bank accounts becoming even more bloated.

“The Scottish Government has been consistent in its support for the Real Living Wage – and we called for the full devolution of minimum wage powers during the Smith Commission, yet this was blocked. The Tories must now match our ambition and deliver the Real Living Wage across our economy and I challenge local Conservatives to echo that call.”

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NOTES

 

Annual incomes for Real Living Wage, National Living Wage and the Minimum Wage for 21- to 25-year-olds

 

Rate per hour

Annually

Real Living Wage

£8.45

£16,258

National Living Wage

£7.50

£14,430

Minimum Wage (21-25)

£7.05

£13,564

Figures provided by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre.

 

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, 63 Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0PE  •  01738 620540   •   Website designed & hosted by Craig Mackay Design