GREENS want the minimum wage to rise to £10 by 2020 in a bid to tackle the “scandal” of working people living in poverty.
Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie highlighted the party’s plans to boost pay rates as he visited drinks company Brewdog in Dundee - which already pays its staff the Living Wage of £7.85 an hour.
As part of their election campaign, the Greens are pledging to up the minimum wage - currently £6.50 an hour - to this level, before increasing it to £10 an hour by 2020.
Mr Harvie said: “Raising the minimum wage to a living wage would help create the more equal society Greens want to see. It’s a scandal that so many working Scots are in poverty. Our candidates are out campaigning for more local jobs with good wages, in contrast to the other parties who are jostling to give big business and polluting industries further tax breaks.
“Small and medium-sized businesses are the bedrock of Scotland’s economy and we want to see them flourish. The Living Wage is good for our society and good for the employees who make companies successful. Green ideas on jobs and wages would help realise Scotland’s potential.”
He raised the issue ahead of the Scottish Green conference in Dundee tomorrow. The party has seen its membership increase to more than 8,500 following the independence referendum, with some polls suggesting support for the Greens is now higher than for the Liberal Democrats.
As well as pledging to increase the minimum wage, the Green election manifesto - to be launched later this month - will include plans to return the railways to public ownership, end austerity and create more jobs.
Pauline Hinchion, Scottish Green candidate for Dundee West, said: “Greens here in Dundee and across the UK are challenging the Westminster consensus on austerity. Our vision of an economy with good jobs and better wages is gaining momentum as we head towards an election like no other.”
Helen Grayshan, the party’s candidate for Dundee East, said: “We’ve seen work become insecure and poorly paid for many, while wealth continues to accumulate to those who need it least. A decent minimum wage you can actually live on would be a step in the right direction.”
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