Thousands more take on two jobs to survive

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has given strong support to implementing the Living Wage
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has given strong support to implementing the Living Wage
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Thousands more Scots have taken on a second job over the past year as families struggle to make ends meet.

There now also almost 100,000 workers north of the border with two jobs, after a rise of 13,000 in the past year alone.

Rising levels of “in-work poverty” are believed to be at the root of the problem, with fresh calls for Scotland to be handed control of employment services.

The Scottish Government says it will step up moves to ensure firms pay a national Living Wage.

There were 94,000 people north of the border with a second job between April last year and this March, figures released by the ONS last week show. This is up from 81,000 on the same period a year ago, marking a rise of 16 per cent.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “Our economy has created a rising tide of low pay and rising costs, with more and more people struggling to get by.

“To stay afloat, more people have been forced into part-time and often insecure work; often having to work multiple jobs just to pay their rent and put food on the table.

“To help people keep their head above water, we need to ensure everyone has access to decent and secure work that pays at least the real Living Wage.”

Mhoraig Green, social justice spokeswoman with Citizens Advice Scotland, called for more action to tackle insecure work.

“The Scottish CAB network sees hundreds of thousands of clients, many of whom are workers seeking advice because they’re struggling to pay for essentials due to low pay,” she said.

“We see lots of people who are in insecure work situations, such as zero hours contracts where they can find themselves not being given as many hours as they need. With the majority of Scots in poverty now living in working households, it’s increasingly clear that just having a job is not a route out of poverty.

“More action needs to be taken to tackle the problem of insecure work, and to strengthen the social security safety net to ensure people don’t have to take on multiple jobs to survive.”

Liberal Democrat fair work spokeswoman Katy Gordon called for more investment in education to build a high wage, highly skilled economy.

The Scottish Government said welfare reforms have made things for worse for struggling Scots. “We know that in-work poverty is on the rise and increased foodbank use is directly linked to UK government welfare cuts, benefit sanctions and the flawed Universal Credit,” a spokesman said.