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As the living wage week comes to an end, Clydesdales MSP, Aileen Campbell, has said there are no excuses for the UK government not to follow in Scotland's lead and deliver the living wage to support those on the lowest incomes during tough financial times.

This week the Scottish Government confirmed it would uplift the living wage meaning around 3,000 workers across the public sector - including civil servants, government agencies, NDPBs and the NHS - will benefit from the increase to ?7.45 from next April, adding to the 6,000 workers who already benefitted from last year's living wage.

The SNP is calling for Westminster to follow in Scotland's lead - particularly because the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) revealed that the Treasury gains ?1,000 in tax and saved credits for each living wage worker.

Commenting, Aileen Campbell, Constituency MSP for Clydesdale, said:

"Westminster has no excuses left and must follow in Scotland's lead on the living wage. There are compelling arguments for the UK government to adopt this policy - particularly those from the Institute for Fiscal Studies that has said moving to a living wage would significantly reduce earnings inequality.

"IFS also estimates the living wage saves around ?1,000 per person through lower tax credits and increased tax revenue, so all the money saved through the Scottish Government investment goes straight back to the Treasury.

"If the UK Government doesn't change its ways, Scotland must be given control of all the resources needed to tackle poverty in Scotland and stop the Treasury receiving a dividend from our anti-poverty measures.

"The SNP is committed to protecting those on the lowest incomes during tough financial times, and we are achieving this through policies including the Living Wage, the council tax freeze, free personal care for the elderly, increased provision of free nursery education and free prescriptions.

"We have already made substantial progress in local government with 17 local authorities paying the living wage and a further 12 planning to introduce it or have stated an intention to do so.

"The SNP Government has also intervened on the inequality agenda by protecting those affected by the UK welfare changes, through our pay policy and the preservation of a number of universal benefits, which has protected some of the least well off.

"In a country as rich as Scotland the levels of inequality, low pay and poverty are just unacceptable which is why we must all strive to improve the standard of living for people across Scotland and as reach the end of living wage week it is the perfect time for the UK government to get on board and help finally make low pay a thing of the past."

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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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