SNP vow to raise minimum wage

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire
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The SNP has promised to increase the minimum wage as part of a plan to improve living standards and tackle inequality.

The pledge is included the party’s General Election manifesto, launched by leader Nicola Sturgeon in Perth on Tuesday.

The document includes a commitment to increasing the minimum wage to the same level as the “real living wage” over the next parliament.

At present, those aged 25 and over are entitled to £7.50 per hour, with lower minimum rates for those under 25.

Meanwhile, the “real living wage” is currently set at £8.45, and is projected to rise to £10.60 per hour by 2022.

The SNP said the policy reflected the party’s “clear anti-austerity agenda”.

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Ms Sturgeon said: “Low pay is a driver of increasing inequality - which is one of the biggest challenges we’ll face over the lifetime of the next parliament.

“Scotland is leading the way with 800 employers already signed up to the Living Wage on a voluntary basis.

“Over the next parliament we believe we can see real change across the whole of the UK by moving from the Tories’ fake living wage to ensuring that all workers receive the real living wage.

“Moving to the living wage would see wages increase to over £10 per hour by the end of the parliament.

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“This is just one part of our vision for improving the lives of people in Scotland, tackling inequality and improving living standards.

“Our manifesto will set out a number of key steps SNP MPs will take to hold the Tories to account and stop the rise in inequality.”