Today, (13.00 Friday 2 March) at the Scottish Labour Party Conference in Dundee, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) General Secretary Grahame Smith will address a meeting to promote the Scottish Living Wage Campaign.
STUC is also releasing a letter (attached) it is sending to Margaret Mitchell MSP criticising her position on the Living Wage as "fail(ing) on the criteria of fairness, accuracy, economic good sense and even on the criteria of consistency with what is apparently your own party’s position"
At the Labour conference, Smith will argue that evidence supports the view of the Scottish Living Wage Campaign that inequality is a barrier to growth, is profoundly inconsistent with the good health and well-being of society and communities, and if nothing is done to reduce poverty and income inequality the problems we currently face will just re-occur. Because lessons are not being learned.
He will say
“The Living Wage enables us to do a number of very important things.
“First and foremost, if it was universally applied it would put more money into the pockets of over half a million low paid, mostly women, workers who tend to spend a disproportionate amount of their income than the higher paid which would stimulate demand and help the economy grow.
“Focusing on the living wage enables us to point out that any business that can’t pay its workers enough to ensure an acceptable standard of living standard shouldn’t be in business at all.
“It also means turning the spotlight on some apparently very successful companies - those who make big profits for their shareholders but pay less than the living wage and who are in fact having their business models subsidized by us the taxpayer who pick up the tab through tax credits and in-work benefits to give workers a basic income.”
He will add
“Focusing on the living wage also provides the opportunity for business and for public sector employers to take voluntary steps to improve pay and conditions and we should congratulate those that do.”
For more information on the Scottish Living Wage Campaign go to http://povertyalliance.org/slw-home.asp
For further information contact Dave Moxham 0141 337 8100