Living wage move would help 467,000 Scots, SNP says

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Plans for a real living wage would benefit almost half a million Scots, the SNP has said.

The party cited figures from the Scottish Parliament's Information Centre showing that 467,000 people in Scotland earn less than the real living wage, currently set at £8.45 per hour.

The SNP has called on the UK Government to raise its national living wage of £7.50 to the level of the real living wage and extend it to all workers over 18.

The move would mean all workers earning more than £10 an hour by 2022, boosting annual pay by almost £5,000, the party said.

SNP MSP Ash Denham said: "Scotland is leading the way on fair pay with 845 employers now signed up on a voluntary basis to giving their workers a real living wage.

"In government, we've done what we can in our public sector to ensure that hard-working staff get the fair wages they need to live on.

"In the next five years, we want to see real change across the whole of the UK - moving to a real living wage for everyone, increasing wages to over £10 per hour by 2022.

"That standard would apply equally to everyone in work above the age of 18 since young people share the same pressures in meeting the costs of living.

"That would mean a £5,000 boost to pay packets for half a million people in Scotland."

Labour has also pledged to increase the statutory minimum wage of £7.50 per hour for over-25s to £10 an hour by 2020.

The party also plans to scrap the lower youth rates of £5.60 an hour for those aged 18 to 20 and £7.05 for 21 to 24-year-olds in favour of the single £10 rate.