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Plans to create the UK's first 'living wage towns'

Fair work minister Keith Brown said the new proposals will boost the income of those on low pay.

Economy: The national living wage is £8.75 per hour for over 25s.
Economy: The national living wage is £8.75 per hour for over 25s. © STV

Plans to create the first "living wage towns, cities and regions" in the UK have been put forward by the Scottish Government.

It comes as cabinet secretary for fair work Keith Brown outlined new proposals aiming to boost the income of those on low pay and support inclusive growth.

Working with the Poverty Alliance, it is hoped Scotland will become a "living wage nation" over the next three years.

Mr Brown said: "We are serious about supporting fair work and putting equality at the heart of our labour market.

"That is why Scotland punches well above its weight in terms of the proportion of people paid at least the Living Wage.

"However we cannot become complacent.

"We now need to build on this success to ensure even more organisations and individuals benefit in the future."

Measures introduced include launching a regionally-focused accreditation scheme to create the UK's first living wage towns, cities and regions.

'We are serious about supporting fair work and putting equality at the heart of our labour market. "That is why Scotland punches well above its weight in terms of the proportion of people paid at least the Living Wage.'
Keith Brown

The government also will work to increase the proportion of organisations in low-paid sectors, such as hospitality and tourism, joining the scheme.

It hopes to see at least 25,000 more people benefit from their employer becoming accredited.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, added: "We have seen employers from all sectors, in companies large and small, adopt the Living Wage and do their bit to help make the economy fairer.

"However, despite the progress that has been made, we know there is still much to be done.

"Scotland faces real challenges in some important sectors .

"If we are to deliver a fair economy for all then we must begin to address these head on.

"We are grateful for the Scottish Government support that will allow us to take the positive message for the Living Wage to employers in all parts of Scotland and into key sectors."

As of April 2017 it is £8.75  per hour for over 25s, £7.05 for those aged 21-24, £5.60 for ages 18-20 and £4.05 for under 18s.

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