Challenge Poverty Week

October 4th 2020

Challenge Poverty Week

October 4th 2020

A quarter of a million people in Scotland have seen their incomes fall below minimum wage levels since the start of the crisis says STUC

At the beginning of Challenge Poverty Week, STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer has called for urgent action to prevent further poverty as the combination of redundancy, inadequate furlough pay and gaps in the scheme combine to push three quarters of a million people onto poverty incomes.

  • More than half of the 700,000 Scots on Furlough have normal salaries at £10 or lower. A £10.50 per hour wage would be required by an employee receiving 80% of salary to make minimum wage

  • Tens of thousands on the self-employment support scheme receiving less than the Minimum Wage

  • 210,000 new universal credit claimants since March

  • New UK Support Scheme will worsen situation by triggering job losses and lowering pay levels to 75% of normal salary

STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said: “Whilst it is not possible to calculate with perfect accuracy the number of people whose income has fallen below the Minimum Wage level, we believe that 750,000 is a conservative estimate.

“More than half of furloughed workers are probably below the Minimum Wage level as well as those who do not qualify for furlough, tens of thousands on the self-employed scheme, and those who have tragically, already lost their jobs. It is a grim picture.

“The situation looks even worse when you consider that this is the Minimum Wage and not the Real Living Wage. We share the Poverty Alliance’s commitment to the Scottish Living Wage but hundreds of thousands of workers were below this level even before the pandemic, with a further 260,000 on universal credit.

“We need the Chancellor to think again on his Job Support scheme and start from the position that no-one should be receiving a penny less than the Minimum Wage during this crisis.”

ENDS For further details: Dave Moxham 07891026870

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