The UK Government’s budget has been slammed after their failure to commit to a real living wage.
Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie criticised the UK Government following the budget after the Chancellor, yet again, failed to implement a real Living Wage and extend it to under 25’s.
In the budget on Monday, the Chancellor confirmed that the 'National Living Wage' -the Government’s re-brand of the minimum wage for over-25’s - will be going up but will not be brought in line with the real living wage and won’t rise until April 2019.
The ‘National Living Wage’ was introduced by previous Chancellor George Osborne in his Budget in July 2015.
It was reported earlier this year that the ‘National Living Wage’ fails to cover families’ basic needs and continues to fall short of the real living wage, set by the Living Wage Foundation, of £10.20 in London and £8.75 in the rest of the UK; And, according to the Child Poverty Action Group, a single parent earning the current 'National Living Wage' of £7.83 an hour is around £74 short of the minimum weekly income required to meet basic needs.
Since the Living Wage Foundation was founded over 1237 organisations in Scotland have received Living Wage Accreditation including the Scottish Government and a majority of MSPs.
Scotland, despite having no powers over wage law, has a higher proportion of employees paid the real living wage than any other UK Nation.
Commenting Stewart Hosie MP said:
“Since the Living Wage Foundation was formed it, in partnership with the Scottish Government, has done a great job in promoting and encouraging organisations to pay the real living wage, including here in Dundee, but it is however voluntary unlike the UK Governments so-called ‘National Living Wage’ which is mandatory.”
“The Chancellor missed another excellent opportunity to prove that austerity really is over but instead he, yet again, rolled over and refused to give workers across the country the pay they deserve."
"If the Chancellor is going to keep refusing to implement a real living wage he should, at very least, devolve the issue to Scotland so we can implement it here. The UK Government claimed to support more devolution after the referendum in 2014 so why they refuse to acknowledge the growing demand for minimum wage law to be devolved is beyond me.”
“I am proud of the leadership that the Scottish Government has shown on this issue, as well as becoming one of the first Living Wage Accredited employers they have strongly championed the Real Living Wage and have repeatedly taken their London Counterparts to task over their failures.”
“It is shocking that so many families across the country are facing hardship, not just because of the Conservative UK Government’s continued austerity agenda, but now also as a direct result of their refusal to implement the real living wage.”