Moray election opponents agree on women’s equal pay bid

Angus Robertson and Sean Morton

The Scottish Labour candidate in the May general election has called on the sitting Moray MP to back a parliamentary vote on equal pay.

Sean Morton has written to Angus Robertson MP seeking his support on Tuesday when a vote will be prompted by Labour for transparency across companies employing over 250 staff.

If accepted the proposal would see such companies having to publish their own gender pay gap yearly as part of their annual report.

The campaign for pay transparency is being led by Labour in Parliament, and supported by leading employers including PricewaterhouseCoopers who are one of just five companies known to voluntarily publish their pay gap.

Women still earn an average 81p for every pound earned by men, despite the Equal Pay Act being passed 44 years ago.

Mr Morton said: “Today I’ve written to local MP Angus Robertson calling on him to support Equal Pay and vote for pay transparency in Parliament on Tuesday.

“44 years since the Equal Pay Act was passed women should not still be earning on average 81p for every pound a man earns. By shining a light on the problem, all of us can take the action needed to finally make equal pay a reality for women and their families.”

When asked for a response Mr Robertson told insideMoray that the motion in parliament was “certainly one I can support”, adding: “I have to question why Labour is only now complaining about this issue when it was actually within their power in the final days of their Government in 2010, yet they failed to do so.

“Labour got Royal Assent to the Equalities Bill on 08 April 2010. That was four days before the dissolution of Parliament on 12 April 2010.

“This means they could have, if they had wanted, activated the relevant section of the Bill on Thursday 08 April 2010 or Friday 09 April 2010.

“By not doing so they allowed the Tory-led coalition which then took power in Westminster to leave this clause of the Bill un-enacted.

“To my mind this is a failure to use the powers they had at the right time and Labour now appear to be pleading with the Tories to rectify their own failure to act.

“As I have said, however, I would be very pleased to see this error corrected and equal pay made more transparent as a result.”

The Moray branch of the Scottish National Party this week confirmed that Mr Robertson was once again to be their candidate in May’s general election, standing against Mr Morton and Scottish Conservative candidate Douglas Ross.

Leave a comment