Could Falkirk be among first ‘Living Wage Towns’?

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Towns across Scotland will be encouraged to seek accreditation as “Living Wage Towns” under new plans announced today by the Scottish Government.

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work Keith Brown (pictured) has outlined plans to work with the Poverty Alliance to boost the wages of low-paid workers, with an initial target of 25,000 people.

The Scottish Government supports a “real living wage” of £8.75 an hour, while the statutory national living wage is currently just £7.50 for those over 25.

The plan also includes trying to increase the proportion of accredited organisations in low paid sectors such as hospitality and tourism - reckoned particularly important to the future of Falkirk’s economy.

Mr Brown said: “We are serious about supporting fair work and putting equality at the heart of our labour market. “That is why Scotland punches well above its weight in terms of the proportion of people paid at least the Living Wage.

“However we cannot become complacent.

“We now need to build on this success to ensure even more organisations and individuals benefit in the future.

“Our commitment to create a Living Wage Nation is challenging, but achievable, and it will help those in low-paid sectors who need it most.”

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “It is now just over three years since the Poverty Alliance launched the drive to increase the number of accredited Living Wage employers in Scotland.

“Working in partnership with the Living Wage Foundation and thanks to support from the Scottish Government we have seen real change.

“We have seen employers from all sectors, in companies large and small, adopt the Living Wage and do their bit to help make the economy fairer.

“However, despite the progress that has been made, we know there is still much to be done.”