19 January 2015

Scottish Youth Parliament Press Office

Youth Parliament Chair encourages organisations to commit to the living wage

The Scottish Youth Parliament has now been formally accredited by The Living Wage Foundation as a Living Wage Employer. The Scottish Youth Parliament has paid a living wage since its inception in 1999, but became formally accredited through the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative.

Through the “One Fair Wage” campaign, the Scottish Youth Parliament campaigned with other organisations to establish the scheme in Scotland.

The Poverty Alliance is working in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation to accredit Living Wage employers in Scotland.

The Living Wage is an hourly rate set independently and updated annually. The Living Wage is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK. Employers choose to pay the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

Speaking about the importance of a living wage Louise Cameron, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said:

“I am delighted that the Scottish Youth Parliament has now been formally accredited as a Living Wage Employer. We have known for a long time that low wages is the key driver of in-work poverty.

“It is simply not fair for employees to be paid a wage below what is required for an acceptable standard of living. Employers must play their part in combating in-work poverty through the living wage, and I would encourage all employers to join this scheme.

“We will launch our national campaign later this week to raise awareness of the severity of youth poverty in Scotland. Currently, research shows than one in five of Scotland’s children are considered to be living in poverty. This is much higher than in many other European countries.”

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said today:

“Congratulations to the Scottish Youth Parliament on joining the growing number of accredited living wage employers in Scotland.

“In work poverty has been on the rise in Scotland, with almost of two thirds of children in poverty living in a household where someone works.

“The Living Wage is one of the best tools for tackling in work poverty and ensuring a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

“We are pleased to see the Scottish Youth Parliament recognise the role of employers in tackling poverty, and hope others will follow their example”.