“I pledge to support the One Fair Wage campaign. I believe everyone in Scotland, no matter how old they are, should earn at least a Scottish Living Wage based on how much it costs to live.”
Today, 12th September 2012, the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) launched a new national campaign, ‘One Fair Wage’ calling on politicians, businesses, councils and charities to pledge their support for the Scottish Living Wage.
SYP believe everyone in Scotland deserve to earn at least enough to live on. We believe it’s obscene for people to be working whilst still trapped in poverty. We believe a Scottish Living Wage can make a real difference to half a million low-paid Scots.
A Scottish Living Wage won’t solve all the problems causing poverty in Scotland. But without decent wages which allow low paid workers a decent standard of living we’ll never win the battle.
Over the next year the Scottish Youth Parliament will call on politicians, businesses, councils and charities to pledge their support for a Scottish Living Wage. It’s time for a better and fairer approach to pay in Scotland. It’s time for One Fair Wage
The campaign has already received support from The Scottish Government, the Scottish Labour Party, UNISON and Save the Children. The year-long campaign will focus on a grass-roots approach by Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) directly engaging with their local councils and businesses to convince them everyone in Scotland deserves a fair living wage.
Grant Costello MSYP, SYP Chair, says:
“Scotland’s young people today launch a campaign to tackle one of the root causes of poverty – low wages. Far too many workers are being paid wages which are far too low to live on. It’s unacceptable for poor workers to be reliant on foodbanks and charity. It’s unacceptable for young workers to be paid as little as £3.68 an hour. It’s unacceptable for the children of working families to be living in poverty. A Scottish Living Wage can make a huge difference to their lives.
“This is not a campaign about political process. It’s about organisations making a moral and economic choice to pay their workers a Scottish Living Wage. That’s the message MSYPs will be taking out across Scotland today – that’s what One Fair Wage is all about.”
Angela Constance MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Youth Employment says:
“Living wage is an important part of a package of Scottish Government policies to support sustainable employment and tackle poverty. We have demonstrated our full support for the principles of the living wage in Scotland and are leading by example by implementing the living wage through Scottish public sector pay, with the majority of local authorities also implementing the policy.
“We support discussion on this important issue and we are using our consultation on the Procurement Reform Bill to seek stakeholders’ views on promoting the living wage. This consultation closes on 2 November 2012 and we look forward to receiving responses from all sectors, young people and from Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament.”
Kez Dugdale MSP, Labour’s Shadow Youth Employment Minister says:
“I congratulate the Scottish Youth Parliament once again for the tremendous leadership they’ve demonstrated in picking a priority campaign which will not only helps young Scots, but also speaks to the values of a nation that they want to build and be proud of.
“Two thirds of the children living in poverty come from working households. Work simply has to pay if we want to live in a more equal and fair society, and I look forward to working very closely with SYP to turn that dream into a reality.”
Dave Watson, UNISON Scottish Organiser says:
“UNISON welcomes the launch of the Scottish Youth Parliament’s One Fair Wage campaign. A living wage allows workers to provide for themselves and their families. It’s also good for the economy, as low paid workers spend more with local businesses. Everyone gains by moving away from the low wage economy.”
Douglas Hamilton, Head of Save the Children in Scotland, says:
“Children should not be bearing the brunt of the recession. Poverty is tearing families apart, with parents buckling under the pressure of mounting bills and children seeing their parents argue more about money. It’s inexcusable that this is happening in Scotland in 2012.
“It’s great to see the support of the Scottish Youth Parliament for fair wages. Given nearly half of children living in poverty in Scotland have at least one parent in work, it is truly appalling those parents can’t earn enough to give themselves and their kids a decent life. The Scottish Government must do more by supporting parents into work, making work pay by promoting the Scottish Living Wage, providing extra childcare and protecting the poorest and most disadvantaged from further cuts.”