Accessibility Options Printer friendly Email us Contact us

First Minister's Statement on Government Programme, Poverty 26/11/14 [S]

Ministerial Statement in the Scottish Parliament on 26 November 2014 from the First Minister, on the Scottish Government's Programme.

She said on the subject of Poverty and the Living Wage:

"A key priority of my Government in the coming year will be to continue to tackle in-work poverty. Almost 60 per cent of children in poverty live in a working household. That is a scandal. We need to ensure that work lifts people out of poverty rather than locking them into it.

My Government will continue to lead by example. We already pay everyone who works for us or the national health service at least the living wage and, although we cannot mandate it in law, each and every relevant Government contract that is let from now on will have payment of the living wage as a central priority.

In the next year, we will also step up our actions to promote the living wage across the private sector and the wider public sector. I will convene a living wage summit with business leaders to encourage them to sign up to the living wage and to consider what further support Government can reasonably offer. We will also publish statutory guidance for the wider public sector on how the living wage and other workforce matters should be taken into account in public contracts.

Furthermore, I announce that we will increase funding for the Poverty Alliance from 80,000 to 280,000, to allow it to scale up its work on the living wage accreditation scheme. To date, 70 companies are signed up to the scheme. With the additional funding, I am setting a target for that to increase to at least 150 companies by the end of 2015.

We will also establish a fair work convention. The convention will prioritise the promotion of the living wage, but it will have a wider role, too. It will champion a partnership approach between Government, business, the trade unions, the third sector and local government. Such an approach recognises that sustainable growth has a social dimension and that fairness supports and underpins long-term prosperity."

For full details see the Scottish Parliament Official Report 26 November 2014 which is available from the Scottish Parliament website.

Further Information

Scottish Parliament Official Report 26 November 2014