The Church of Scotland is calling on MSPs to back a campaign calling for the introduction of a living wage for all workers.
The Rev Ian Galloway, Convener of the Church and Society Council of the Church of Scotland said that many Scots are being paid at an hourly rate which is simply not sufficient to meet their everyday needs.
And the Kirk confirmed that it fully supports a call by the Scottish Living Wage Campaign (SLWC) for a minimum hourly rate of £7.20 for all Scottish workers.
The figure has been independently calculated as the amount needed to keep up with the current cost of living in Scotland. The national minimum wage is £6.08 per hour for over 21’s.
Rev Galloway said: “There is a lot of talk about how we need to “make work pay” but the reality for many people on low wages is that what they are paid isn’t enough to live on. “There are people in full-time employment earning the minimum wage who can only make ends meet with overtime and in these challenging economic times overtime is not always available.
“In any case, working long hours for low wages just to make ends meet means these people do not have a good quality of life.
“The Church of Scotland wholeheartedly backs the Living Wage Campaign. Much of the focus on Scottish politics at the moment is on the debate surrounding an independence referendum but before that is decided, I’d like to see our politicians doing whatever it takes to ensure that no Scottish worker earns less than the living wage.”
The campaign, which began in 2007, has seen notable successes, with the Scottish Government introducing the living wage for directly employed staff, staff in its agencies and the NHS.
But many other Scots struggle to make ends meet, as the minimum wage fails to keep pace with price rises which have gone up ahead of inflation.
Seven local authorities have also adopted the living wage, generally through a process of local negotiation. The SLWC estimates that around 15,000 workers in the public sector have benefited from living wage policies.
The Scottish Living Wage Campaign is led by the Poverty Alliance and the STUC and supported by organisations including the Church of Scotland.
March 1st, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross