Working poverty hits its highest level since devolution

xShocking failure from the Scottish Government – working poverty in Scotland is at its highest level since devolution.

Since 2007 the number of households in poverty where at least one adult works has increased by 150,000 to 420,000.

That’s a failure of the SNP in government, and a sign of a broken economy.

Why isn’t a job enough to keep people above the breadline in Scotland today?

This is unacceptable. So here is what Labour would do to change that:
Use the social security powers

We’d increase Child Benefit by £240 by 2020 and ensure that £2 billion worth of unclaimed payments like tax credits and housing benefit go to the people who are entitled to them. Increasing Child Benefit would lift around tens of thousands of children out of poverty, according to expert groups like the Child Poverty Action Group.

Make work pay

While the SNP dishes out millions of pounds in taxpayer funded grants to companies like Amazon, Labour will ensure that no business receives a public contract or taxpayer grant without guaranteeing to pay the real living wage.

We’ll work to extend the real living wage into the jobs where it needs to be: low paid industries like hospitality and retail.

Tackle the cost of living

A decade on from promising to the scrap the council tax, all the SNP has done is scrap the council tax freeze.

Labour would abolish the council tax and replace it with a fairer system where 80% of households would pay less.

We would move towards more flexible childcare, starting with a breakfast club in every school.

And we would take back control of public transport, meaning we could freeze or even cut fares on our trains and buses.

Invest for the long term

We’ll only end working poverty for good if we give our people the skills they need to compete for the jobs of the future.

That means investing in education with more resources in our schools and fairer bursaries for our students.

We would reform our schools system to tilt the balance away from the richest and towards the rest.

And we’ll future proof our economy to take steps towards coding being as vital in our classrooms as literacy and numeracy.

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