There are still far too many people in Dumfries & Galloway earning less than the Living Wage. That’s the message from Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray.
New figures from the Office of National Statistics found that 16,000 people in Dumfries & Galloway earn less than the Living Wage.
The current UK Living Wage is £7.85 an hour, calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK, as opposed to the much lower £6.70 minimum wage rate.
Dr Murray highlighted the positive effects implementing a living wage could have for local businesses, citing research that shows a living wage leads to:
25% fall in absenteeism.
80% of employers believing the living wage has enhanced the quality of the work of their staff.
66% of employers reporting a significant impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation.
The Scottish Government have come under fire for continuously failing to back plans to extend the Living Wage to more workers in low paid jobs, despite those workers bearing the brunt of the cost of living crisis.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said:
“16,000 is no small figure. Far too many people in our region still do not get a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. What makes matters worse is that incomes are only going to be hit harder when the Chancellor's plans to slash tax credits hits families across Dumfries & Galloway. The business case and the moral case are in favour of people living, not just surviving off of their incomes. I want to see the Living Wage become the norm in our region, but the truth is that we need to see more action from the Scottish and UK Governments in order to give the 16,000 local people in our region the fair wage they deserve.”