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Labour wage plan 'would make 130,000 young Scots richer'

The party has pledged to increase the statutory minimum wage to £10 an hour.

Kezia Dugdale: Scotland 'deserves a pay rise' (file pic).
Kezia Dugdale: Scotland 'deserves a pay rise' (file pic). PA

Labour proposals to increase the minimum wage would give at least 130,000 young Scots a pay rise, according to the party's Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale.

Scottish Government statistics show 129,000 people aged between 18 and 24 earned less than the £8.25 real living wage last year.

The non-statutory real living wage is calculated each year by the independent Living Wage Foundation, which says it represents "what employees and their families need to live".

Labour has pledged to increase the statutory minimum wage of £7.50 per hour for over-25s to £10 an hour by 2020.

The party also plans to scrap the lower youth rates of £5.60 an hour for those aged 18-20 and £7.05 for 21 to 24-year-olds in favour of the single £10 rate.

Dugdale said: "Scotland deserves a pay rise, especially our young people who have seen opportunities choked off by an SNP government that has been distracted from the day job.

"Labour's real living wage of £10 an hour by 2020 would deliver a pay rise to millions across the UK and to at least 130,000 young people here in Scotland.

"That's the difference you get with a Labour government that works for the many, not the few.

"Unlike the SNP, Labour will fight to deliver for young people across Scotland - not side with the Tories to hamper their opportunities."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "The Scottish Government is using all powers at its disposal to promote fair pay.

"We are doing this through our approach to fair working practices in procurement, our support for living wage accreditation, the business pledge and the Fair Work Convention.

"Scotland remains the best-performing of all the UK countries in terms of paying the living wage, with the highest proportion of employees paid the living wage or more - around 80% - and we aim to have at least 1000 accredited living wage employers by this autumn."

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