Joe has used Living Wage Week to reiterate his calls for more to be done to promote the Living Wage after new figures released by KPMG suggested that over 400,000 Scots are still paid below it.
As Living Wage Week started it was announced that the UK wide rate was increasing by 20p to £7.85 per hour. The National Minimum Wage is currently £6.50 an hour.”
Speaking about the issue Joe, whose motion last year has resulted in a Living Wage Working Group at North Ayrshire Council which is still deliberating, said;
“The increase in the Living Wage is welcome but the fact latest figures show that over 400,000 Scots are paid less than it demonstrates how big our low pay problem is.”
“In work poverty is on the rise as living costs continue to outpace wage growth. It has long been my view that we need a statutory Living Wage but even without that there is so much more that we can do now to tackle low pay.”
“Earlier this year Scottish Labour made a proposal that would have ensured that every worker who works on a public sector contract is paid the Living Wage. Despite Tory Government Departments, such as the Department for Energy and Climate Change, and Boris Johnson doing so the SNP voted against. If even Tories can pay the Living Wage to subcontractors why can’t the SNP?”
“There is also a greater role that North Ayrshire Council can play in promoting the Living Wage and actively increasing its payment across our local economy. That’s something I am keen to see happen and it’s why I will working towards our Working Group developing a positive action plan.”
Joe has written to Finance Secretary John Swinney to seek an explanation as to why his Government can’t pay the Living Wage to subcontractors when DECC and the London Mayor have after he failed to answer on the question on BBC Good Morning Scotland.