Responding to the Scottish Retail Consortium’s statement on the income tax debate, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith said:
‘While the Scottish Retail Consortium peddles itself as the voice of low-earners, its associates pay wages that leave families struggling to afford the cost of living.
‘The STUC welcomes the 30 pence increase in the Scottish Living Wage that will go some way towards supporting low-paid workers. Yet the retail sector is one of the worst offenders for keeping wages chronically low.
‘A quarter of a million Scots work in retail. The hourly rates paid by many of the Consortium’s associates cause misery for employees and hold down wages across the supply chain.
‘Millions of pounds are spent in tax credits and welfare payments to support low-paid retail workers, effectively subsiding chronic pay-rates. And when it comes to tax, the low-wage retail culture is culpable for falling income tax revenues, squeezing the public services that we all depend on.
‘Higher wages, not lower taxes, are the lift that workers need in retail and across our economy.’
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