I’m wholeheartedly backing Scottish Labour’s plans for a living wage for all as it will boost incomes and boost local businesses too.

Scottish Labour’s Make Work Pay scheme would see £17m available for businesses in•Edinburgh who support the living wage for their staff.

Under Scottish Labour plans, employers would receive a tax rebate of up to £1000 for every low paid worker who gets a pay rise.• Working in partnership with businesses to deliver better pay.

The average rebate would be £445, meaning•that if every low paid worker across Scotland was given the living wage, business would get a windfall of over £180 million with £17m of that benefit being in Edinburgh.

The positive effects implementing a living wage for Scottish businesses are clear.•Research shows a living wage leads to:

  • 25% fall in absenteeism.
  • 80% of employers believing the living wage has enhanced the quality of the work of their staff.
  • 66% of employers reporting a significant•impact on recruitment and retention within their organisation. •

•Over 400,000 Scots are paid less than the living wage with an estimated•39,000• in•Edinburgh alone.

•Scottish Labour believes the living wage is best for business and best for fairness.•

It’s disappointing that The SNP have previously voted against these plans to extend the living wage to the private sector.

Low pay is moral scandal in our country and it is also holding our economy back.• Scottish Labour’s plan to extend the living wage could lift thousands of Scots out of low pay. We could give a pay rise to as many as•39,000 workers in•Edinburgh alone.

Local businesses will see a bonus too, with £17m given back to them to invest in their facilties and staff.

A lot of businesses in Scotland aren’t turning over millions. They are on the sharp end budgeting month to month, they might want to give a pay rise to their staff but the conditions aren’t right.• I ran my own small businesses and know how difficult it is to make the books balance but cash support to pay the Living Wage would help enormously.

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