Ahead of Living Wage Week 5-11 November and the UK government’s budget, Patricia Gibson MP is calling on the UK Tory Government to take action now to bring their National Living Wage up to the level of the Real Living Wage to make a real difference to people’s lives.
The Tories have attempted to portray their £7.50 an hour minimum wage as a ‘Living Wage’ despite it being currently nearly £1 an hour lower than the Real Living Wage of £8.45 an hour. People under the age of 25 are entitled to even smaller amounts, taking more money away from young people in our economy at the same time as their access to social security, including housing benefit, is being cut.
Figures provided by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) show 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.
“It’s time for the Tories to get real over the living wage.
Absolutely nobody has been fooled by their attempts to rebrand their minimum wage as the ‘National Living Wage.’
“With prices rising as a result of the Tories’ disastrous Brexit devaluing the pound and interest rates going up, it is more vital than ever that we raise wages across the country to ensure people can afford to live, because heaven help people if they are unfortunate enough to require the ‘support’ of Universal Credit.
“The economic and social benefit of raising wages cannot be understated. It provides people that little bit more financial security that can make a big difference to their lives.
“Taking action to pay people the Real Living Wage could raise wages by nearly £3,000 a year which for many thousands would be transformational.
“In my own constituency of North Ayrshire & Arran 24.8% of workers earn below the real living wage, an appalling situation.
“The SNP Government has been consistent in supporting the Real Living Wage and we called for the full devolution of minimum wage powers during the Smith Commission, yet this was opposed by both Labour and the Tories. The UK Government must now match our ambition and deliver the Real Living Wage across our economy.”
Figures provided by SPICe:
Annual incomes for Real Living Wage, National Living Wage and the Minimum Wage for 21 to 25 year olds
Real Living Wage £8.45 £16,258
National Living Wage £7.50 £14,430
Minimum Wage (21-25) £7.05 £13,564