IN-WORK POVERTY: GREENS TO LEAD HOLYROOD DEBATE
The Scottish Greens will this week lead a Holyrood debate on the need to end in-work poverty, and will put to a vote the case for all those working or in training to get £10 an hour by 2020.
The Greens are highlighting the fact that the apprenticeship wage is currently only £2.73 an hour for those in their first year, which means that some young people up to the age of 25 are working 30 hours a week for a monthly wage packet of just £327.60.
On Wednesday at Holyrood the Greens will invite other parties to vote on a motion which calls for a £10 minimum wage for all by 2020, and other measures such as a tax to redistribute the wealth of the richest one per cent in society.
Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie, a member of Holyrood's economy committee, said:
"Hundreds of thousands of working age adults in Scotland are living in poverty. They have been let down by an economic policy pursued by successive governments, wrongly assuming that if we make the rich richer some of that money will trickle down.
"At the same time we've seen the welfare system being used to subsidise poverty wages when we should be putting real money in people's pockets for them to live decent lives. It's simply unacceptable that someone in their mid-twenties can be in an apprenticeship earning less than £3 an hour. What sort of message does this send about the value we place on our young people?
"By making sure everyone's wage meets their basic needs we can get to grips with the inequality that is doing so much damage in our country."