Eyemouth student scores political success

Andrew McGowan
Andrew McGowan

A 20 year old student from Eyemouth has persuaded the Scottish Government to fund a living wage scheme recognising employers who pay ‘living’ rather than ‘minimum’ wages.

Andrew McGowan, former Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire is the lead petitioner for the One Fair Wage petition and is delighted that at the Scottish Nation Party’s annual conference at the weekend, Deputy Minister Nicola Sturgeon pledged support for the campaign.

Ms Sturgeon MSP, announced that the Scottish Government will fund the Poverty Alliance to run a Scottish Living Wage Employer Recognition Scheme – as called for by the Scottish Youth Parliament and Andrew McGowan, currently studying at the University of the West of Scotland.

The scheme will celebrate and reward businesses that pay workers a Scottish Living Wage.

The Deputy First Minister replied to calls from Andrew to the Scottish Government to recognise that the duty of the Scottish Government to low-paid workers did not stop at the public sector, that they had a duty to every one of the 400,000 workers across Scotland who are currently being paid below the living wage rate.

Andrew said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has heard our calls, listened to our campaign and announced that the Scottish Government will champion a Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Scheme – encouraging employers to pay their workers, of all ages, a living wage of £7.45 per hour!

“I’d like to thank the Deputy First Minister and the Scottish Government for hearing our calls for the government to actively work to tackle the plight of low-pay and in-work poverty!

“Our campaign for fairer pay would never have been successful if it were not for members of the Scottish Youth Parliament who campaigned for it, the SYP staff who supported MSYPs and of course the MSPs and councillors who joined our calls to the Scottish Government.

“It is clear; work on the national minimum wage just doesn’t pay. This living wage scheme will enable Scots to live, rather than just survive. “

Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP said: “ Over 400,000 people, right now, are working for less than the living wage. That’s nearly 1 in 5 of the Scottish workforce. The majority of these low paid workers are women. We can do better than this, we must do better than this.”