Introduction of a living wage for all will boost local businesses too, says Dumfries & Galloway MP Russell Brown.
Scottish Labour’s Make Work Pay scheme would see £7,120,000 available for businesses in Dumfries & Galloway who support the living wage for their staff.
Under these plans, employers would receive a tax rebate of up to £1000 for every low paid worker who gets a pay rise.
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.
The local politicians highlighted the positive effects implementing a living wage for Scottish businesses. Citing research that 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 16,000 in Dumfries & Galloway alone.
Elaine Murray MSP and Russell Brown MP believe that the living wage is best for business and best for fairness.
The SNP have previously voted with the Tories against Scottish Labour plans to extend the living wage to the private sector.
MP Russell Brown added: “A lot of businesses in Dumfries & Galloway 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.
“That is why Scottish Labour has a plan to convince these businesses to pay the living wage. We will use make work pay contracts to incentivise better pay for staff – and better performance for business.
“The Scottish and UK governments have ignored calls for a living wage for too long. All the evidence is there showing how beneficial it would be to employees and employers alike. It’s time to deliver a living wage, giving 16,000 people in Dumfries & Galloway a pay rise and help end the horrid reputation this region has of seeing the lowest average wages in Scotland.”