To mark Living Wage Week which is currently taking place, Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has called on the UK Government to take action to bring their ‘fake’ National Living Wage up to the level of the Real Living Wage to make a real difference.
The UK Government’s so called ‘National Living Wage’ of £7.50 only applies to those over 25, and is currently nearly £1 an hour lower than the Real Living Wage. With those under the age of 25 entitled to an even lower rate – taking more money away from young people in our economy at the same time as their access to social security, including housing benefit 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.
Mr Newlands, said: “The Tories are fooling no one with their fake ‘living wage’ and it’s about time they upped this to the level of the Real Living Wage, guaranteeing all workers – including those under the age of 25 – a fair wage for their work. To arbitrary exclude those under the age of 25 is grossly unfair and economically illiterate.
“In Paisley and Renfrewshire North, 12,000 workers earn less that the Real Living Wage, making it harder for working households to escape poverty. Living Wage Week allows us to recognise those local employers who are paying the Real Living Wage as well as repeating calls for all business and organisations to pay their workers a fair wage for their work.
“With prices rising as a result of the Tories’ disastrous Brexit and interest rates going up, the Tory UK Government should use this week to guarantee everyone a Real Living Wage, raising wages by nearly £3,000 a year and helping to lift more working households out of poverty.”