As the Scottish Greens prepare to gather in Dundee for their Spring conference, party co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP today (6 Mar) unveiled a key election pledge on wages.

The Scottish Greens, who for the first time are standing in the majority of Scotland's Westminster constituencies, want to raise the minimum wage of £6.50 an hour to a single Living Wage for all of £7.85, and for that to rise to £10 an hour by 2020.

The pledge was backed by Mr Harvie and Dundee Green candidates Helen Grayshan and Pauline Hinchion on a visit to independent drinks firm Brewdog, who are a Living Wage employer.

Tomorrow (Sat) sees the Scottish Greens' one-day Spring Conference at Dundee University at which members will discuss issues including jobs, austerity, health and fracking.

Membership has surged to over 8,500 in recent months, with polls placing the Scottish Greens above the Liberal Democrats.

The party manifesto, due to be launched later this month, will also include policies on:
- Creating new jobs.
- Bringing the railways back into public hands.
- Ending austerity.
- Reforming the UK's broken political systems.
- Giving workers greater control over their jobs.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"Raising the minimum wage to a living wage would help create the more equal society Greens want to see. It's a scandal that so many working Scots are in poverty. Our candidates are out campaigning for more local jobs with good wages, in contrast to the other parties who are jostling to give big business and polluting industries further tax breaks.

"Small and medium-sized businesses are the bedrock of Scotland's economy and we want to see them flourish. The living wage is good for our society and good for the employees who make companies successful. Green ideas on jobs and wages would help realise Scotland's potential."

Pauline Hinchion, Scottish Green candidate for Dundee West, said:

“Greens here in Dundee and across the UK are challenging the Westminster consensus on austerity. Our vision of an economy with good jobs and better wages is gaining momentum as we head towards an election like no other.”

Helen Grayshan, Scottish Green candidate for Dundee East, added:

"We’ve seen work become insecure and poorly paid for many, while wealth continues to accumulate to those who need it least. A decent minimum wage you can actually live on would be a step in the right direction."