Scotland: Tackling in-work poverty
This week, two of our Scottish UK Ambassadors met with Gordon Matheson, the leader of Glasgow City Council, to ask him why Glasgow signed up to agree to paying its employees the living wage and the impact it has had.
As the issue gains increasing support and weight, the enthusiasm of our young people grows.
Living wage in Scotland
There have been significant advances in progressing the Scottish living wage, which we welcome. Most Scottish councils are now paying employees the Scottish living wage of £7.20 per hour.
Eleven councils already pay their staff the living wage and six councils have now confirmed they will pay it from April this year, while another two have indicated their intention to introduce it.
“This is the right thing to do”
In the interview with Gordon Matheson, he made it really clear that there are a whole host of reasons for pledging to be a living wage employer: it helps retain staff, boosts morale and creates better living standards for families.
What really stood out in the interview however was the moral cause: “This is the right thing to do… and that’s where I think young people like yourselves can add weight to the campaign.”
Time to step up
Matheson is encouraging local businesses to “step up” and pay the living wage. He told us that since the council became a living-wage employer, 165 employers in the area had taken the pledge too.
All in all that’s another group of people lifted out of poverty. And we think it’s great and encourage others to join in and make the change.
It’s alarming that people in work can still be in poverty.
Low pay means that there is little financial security for many families across Scotland, and this is linked to the challenge many women face in going back to work after having children, given the cost of childcare.
Low pay, particularly among women, contributes to the high levels of child poverty in Scotland.
What we’re calling for
Expanding the living wage as part of a package of measures to tackle in-work poverty can help eradicate child poverty in Scotland.
Save the Children is calling on all local authorities to implement the Scottish living wage for all their employees.