Report claims living wage ‘should be extended’

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SCOTTISH ministers should extend the living wage and dramatically improve access to childcare, a flagship report to this week’s Labour conference will claim.

Labour leader Johann Lamont launched the “social justice sounding board” a year ago, with independent experts charged with examining how to tackle social deprivation.

The report sets out key areas to tackle child poverty calling on ministers to start “examining ways to extend the living wage and equality in the workplace”.

There is currently a living wage of £7.45 for employees working in parts of the public sector under the Scottish government’s pay policy.

The report calls for the wage to be paid by all businesses benefiting from public sector contracts, with the private companies also agreeing to pay the rate. The report, to be unveiled at Scottish Labour’s conference in Inverness, recommends the expansion of ­“affordable, flexible and high-quality childcare” to help working parents.

There is also a call for measures to tackle ­illiteracy, through “early and sustained intervention”.

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore are being asked to back the moves.