Dumfries & Galloway MP Russell Brown and Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray have called on the UK and Scottish Governments to champion a Living Wage which will benefit many low-paid employees in the local area.
Today (3rd November) the UK Living Wage increased by 20p to £7.85 an hour, 21% higher than the compulsory National Minimum Wage of £6.50 an hour. The living wage is an informal benchmark rather than the legally enforceable national minimum wage.
The average hourly pay, excluding overtime, for all full time workers in Dumfries and Galloway in 2013 was £10.92, lower than the Scottish average of £12.87 and the British average of £13.08.
Russell Brown MP said:
“With the average hourly wage being nearly £2.00 below the Scottish average in Dumfries & Galloway, the fairer living wage would make a big difference to the lives of many people and families in our region.
“If elected in 2015, a Labour Government will increase the minimum wage to £8.00 an hour by the end of the next parliament, giving local businesses a clear, long term target and time to plan and adapt their business.
“However, right now we want to encourage businesses to pay their employees a living wage which will reward a hard day’s work with a fair day’s pay and help fight the cost of living crisis. The Scottish and UK Governments need to act on delivering a living wage to the people of Dumfries & Galloway now.”
Elaine Murray MSP added:
“We know our region sees some of the lowest wages in Scotland and we know just how much a living wage would benefit the lives of the people in Dumfries & Galloway. We need to make it clear that people need to live, not just survive on their incomes.
“It’s disgraceful that the SNP voted down a Living Wage motion in the Scottish Parliament earlier this year, however I hope they have had time to reflect on that decision and will join us in championing a Living Wage in Scotland which will improve so many people’s lives.”