South Scotland MSP and Living Wage Champion Joan McAlpine has welcomed the new Living Wage rate and is urging more employers in the region to become accredited.
The Living Wage increased by 30 pence per hour to £8.75, with the uplift expecting to see many local people benefiting from higher wages to help meet the increasing cost of living.
Ms McAlpine – who became living wage accredited last year - was speaking at the start of this year’s Living Wage Week, running from the 5th to the 10th of November.
The SNP MSP said:
“This increase in the Living Wage is good news for many local workers.
“Living Wage week is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the Living Wage, and I hope as many local employers sign up as accredited Living Wage Employers as possible.
“People who go out and do a hard day’s work should not be left struggling to pay the bills and this new Living Wage of £8.75 announced today will be a welcome pay rise for lots of people across the region.
“With low pay as one of the main drivers of poverty, it is vital that employers who can pay the Living Wage do so – it really makes business sense as it’s an investment in people, leading to increased productivity and reduces staff turnover.”
"It is great that Scotland remains the best-performing of all four UK countries with the highest proportion of employees paid the living wage or more – this is testament to the SNP government’s hard work promoting the fair work agenda and putting equality at the heart of the labour market.”
Katherine Chapman, Director of the Living Wage Foundation said:
“Year-on-year, we see organisations and businesses across the UK embracing the real Living Wage as they recognise that a fair day’s pay is not only the right thing so to but can improve the quality of staff’s work, reduce absenteeism and increase motivation and retention.
“Today’s increase acknowledges that the cost of living continues to rise for workers everywhere and the leadership shown by businesses who welcome this is a cause for celebration during Living Wage Week, sending a positive message to the business community to show what others can achieve.”
For more information about Living Wage Week go to http://www.livingwage.org.uk/living-wage-week