Social enterprise and the Living Wage can reduce inequality

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Encouraging employers to pay the real Living Wage and getting those on low incomes to use credit unions are key solutions to poverty

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8th March 2018 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

Paying the real Living Wage and encouraging more social entrepreneurs could greatly reduce poverty, according to Social Enterprise Scotland.

The Living Wage Foundation and the Fawcett Society have highlighted the issue of low paid women, on International Women’s Day.

A third of women earning below the voluntary living wage of £8.75 an hour have no savings and most worry about their finances, a new survey reveals.

Research among 1,000 female workers found that two out of five have more than £500 of debt, with one in four spending over £100 a month servicing their debt.

The Living Wage Foundation and the Fawcett Society said their findings revealed that three out of five working women only have enough savings to last a month if they lost their job.

Duncan Thorp of Social Enterprise Scotland said: “There are different ways to tackle poverty and lift low paid women and other excluded people out of debt.

“Encouraging more employers to pay the real Living Wage and getting those on low incomes to bank with credit unions are two key solutions.

“We must also reclaim the language of wealth creation and massively increase the number of social entrepreneurs in the poorest neighbourhoods.

“This is how we harness the huge untapped skills of those living in poverty and build an economy that benefits everyone.”

According to the Social Enterprise Census 2017, 64% of social enterprises are led by women, compared to around 7% for FTSE 100 companies.

A total of 72% of Scottish social enterprises pay employees at or above the real Living Wage. The average gap between highest and lowest paid is just one to 2.5.