SNP ACTION ON LIVING WAGE PROTECTING INCOMES
A new Resolution Foundation report has confirmed that over the economic downturn Scotland has weathered the economic storm since the financial crash of 2008 with higher living standards than other parts of the United Kingdom.
As a result of a “shallower” squeeze on pay, “incomes have grown more strongly than anywhere else in the UK.” However, the report also states that the incomes of the poorest households are likely to fall over the next four years as a result of Tory welfare cuts.
Scots saw an average rise in income of 4% during the period while salaries in Northern Ireland (-2.4%), the west Midlands, (-1.9%) and eastern England, (-0.8%) are still below pre-crash levels.
Since 2011 the Scottish Government has paid all staff under its control the Living Wage and has helped promote it across other sectors – helping to ensure that a higher proportion of workers in Scotland are paid the Living Wage than any other nation in the UK.
The SNP government will also spend almost £300 million over the next three years mitigating the worst impacts of Tory welfare cuts, including the Bedroom Tax. Commenting, Kenneth Gibson MSP said: “This report makes clear that in areas where the SNP Government has responsibility and taken action, Scotland has weathered the economic storm better than the rest of the UK. “While there is much still to do, the Scottish economy has now grown for three consecutive years, employment is at record levels and youth unemployment is at the lowest level for a decade.
“The SNP government is absolutely committed to protecting household incomes and ensuring people receive a fair wage for a fair days work: Council Tax bills have now been frozen for nine consecutive years and the SNP government continues to protect free university tuition, free prescriptions and the concessionary bus pass. The SNP Government is both paying and promoting the Living Wage. “We have a strong record of protecting family budgets, tackling low pay and reducing inequality but we know that challenges remain. That’s why we are committed to using every power at our disposal to grow our economy and build a fairer Scotland.”