The living wage should be more actively promoted says East Lothian MSP Iain Gray, after figures showed that 90% of Scots think that companies should pay the living wage.
There are over 4600 people in East Lothian paid less than the living wage, currently set at £7.65 an hour. It would mean an annual raise of £2,600 for those working full-time on the minimum wage.
Iain Gray MSP is a long time campaigner for the living wage and says the time has now come to actively promote the payment of it in the private sector, and has urged the Scottish Government to back a tax rebate for firms who pay it, as well as establish a National Living Wage Strategy.
Last week proposals from Scottish Labour to deliver the living wage to workers on public contracts were defeated as the SNP and Conservatives voted to block amendments to the Procurement Reform Bill.
Iain Gray MSP said:
“The living wage cannot be something the Scottish Government pay lip service to. The SNP voted with the Tories to block Labour proposals to deliver a pay rise to cleaners, caterers, retail and other staff working on public contracts across Scotland.
“The living wage is good for our communities and good for our economy here in East Lothian. It is vital that we do more to promote it.
“It is time now to step the campaign up a gear. Labour is proposing a £1000 tax rebate to employers who pay the living wage, as well as establishing a National Living Wage Strategy reporting and accountable to Parliament, to further the case for the living wage so that everyone gets a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.”