Living wage expansion a “vital milestone in tackling poverty”

From today, all companies applying for Scottish Government grants must pay at least the real living wage.

From today, all businesses and organisations applying for Scottish Government grants must pay at least the real living wage and offer robust mechanisms for workers’ representation.

The Scottish Greens have hailed these new fair work conditions as a “vital milestone in tackling poverty.” These conditions have long been demanded by trade unions and anti-poverty groups, with support from the Scottish Greens. Both were key commitments in the Bute House Agreement between the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Government.

Scottish Greens economy spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP, said:

“This is a vital milestone in tackling poverty and will give a significant boost to some of the lowest paid workers and their families.

“Scottish Greens have long campaigned alongside trade unions and anti-poverty groups for a living wage and worker representation. We put them at the heart of our vision when negotiating the Bute House Agreement, so it’s fantastic that we have been able to deliver them through our role in the Scottish Government.

“Unfortunately, as in so many areas, the Scottish Government’s powers in this area are extremely limited. We would prefer to simply raise the minimum wage above the poverty line for all workers, but that is a power we will only gain with independence.”

Ms Chapman added:

“Workers’ voices must be at the heart of our response to the cost of living crisis, tackling poverty and building a fairer economy. Strong worker representation and engagement are crucial to delivering fair pay and conditions. This new framework will help us achieve this.

“We now know that an estimated 90,000 fewer children will live in poverty in Scotland this year as a result of Scottish Government policies. 

“Part of this is due to the changes we’ve introduced, such as the groundbreaking Scottish Child Payment, free bus travel for everyone under 22 and the rent cap which is supporting tenants all across the country. 

“None of these policies exist in any other part of the UK, showing the positive impact that Scottish Greens are making to people’s lives.”