Councillor calls for greater effort in securing ‘living wage’ for Moray workers

Councillor Sean Morton

More needs to be done to ensure that people in Moray receive a ‘living wage’ according to a local Labour councillor.

Fochabers/Lhanbryde councillor Sean Morton is calling on increased efforts as he highlighted figures that show almost one-quarter of working people in Moray are currently paid less than the £7.65 per hour living wage.

His call comes as his party presented proposals to deliver a living wage to all workers on public contracts – however, the move was defeated as attempted amendments to the Procurement Reform Bill were blocked at the Scottish Parliament by SNP and Tory MSP’s.

Councillor Morton said: “I know from speaking to local people across Moray what a huge difference the living wage would make to people struggling with rising rents, mounting energy bills and spiralling child care costs.

“Research has shown the practical effects too, 47% of people would use the living wage boost to pay bills, it is a pay rise which is desperately needed for the almost a quarter of Moray workers and the 400,000 people across Scotland who are not paid the living wage.

“That is why we need to promote it more effectively and aggressively to protect communities and grow the Moray economy.”

MSP for Highlands, Islands and Moray, Rhoda Grant, added: “The living wage cannot be something the Scottish Government pay lip service to.

“They voted with the Tories to block Labour proposals to deliver a pay rise to home carers, cleaners, caterers and other staff working on public contracts across Scotland.

“The living wage is good for our communities and good for our economy across the Highlands and Islands – it is vital that we do more to promote it.

“It is time now to step the campaign up a gear. Labour is proposing a £1000 tax rebate to employers who pay the living wage, as well as establishing a National Living Wage Strategy reporting and accountable to Parliament, to further the case for the living wage so that everyone gets a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work.”

The comments came after the Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Procurement Reform Bill earlier this week.

The stated aim of the bill is to support “Scotland’s economic growth by delivering social and environmental benefits”. Included in the bill are opportunities for small and medium sized businesses to bid for contracts and receive guidance on the living wage.

Leave a comment