Sturgeon backs charities’ call for minimum wage

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Sturgeon calls on parties to back Scots minimum wage 

11th November 2014 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

Nicola Sturgeon has called on all political parties in Scotland to support powers to set the minimum wage.  

The deputy first minister is calling on Labour, Tories and LibDems to back calls from charities to devolve the power to the Scottish Parliament.

Engender, Poverty Alliance, Children 1st and Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations have all called for Scotland to be able to act to set its own policy to tackle poverty and reduce reliance on in-work benefits.

Sturgeon, who will take over as First Minister next week, said an inflation linked rise would take thousands out of poverty.

Scotland badly needs more powers over employability and welfare to ensure that we are better equipped to tackle inequality

Sturgeon said: "Scotland badly needs more powers over employability and welfare to ensure that we are better equipped to tackle inequality, and undo the damage of Westminster's unfair cuts.

"That is why I am today calling on each of the Westminster parties - including the Scottish Labour leadership candidates - to do the right thing and commit to supporting this positive proposal from civic Scotland."

She said families have been hit as rising living costs and pressure on wages and welfare cuts reduce their income.

Sturgeon added: "With two thirds of children in Scotland currently in poverty being in working households, and 100,000 more children facing poverty by 2020 as a result of Tory welfare reforms, now is the time to take action.

"Respected and expert organisations across the country are calling for these powers to be devolved."

The National Minimum Wage is currently £6.50 for workers aged 21 or over and £5.13 for 18 to 20 year olds. The upper rate increased in October from £6.31.

12th November 2014 by Heather Alari

£6.50 as a minimum wage is a disgrace. The minimum wage should be no less than £10.00 an hour now not in another six years or whenever, when it will then probably be as meaningless as £6.50 is now.