The Real Living Wage, which is supported by the Scottish Government, is a scheme which employers can voluntarily sign up to and means they commit to paying their employees a wage which has been independently calculated to meet living costs.
The wage is currently set at £9.50 (for all ages) and is higher than the UK government minimum which is £8.91 for over 23s, £8.36 for 21-22 year olds, and just £6.56 for 18-20 year olds.
Living Wage Foundation research found that around 350,000 (15.2%) of workers in Scotland are still paid under the Real Living Wage.
I want to change that.
The SNP has called for the devolution of powers over the minimum wage to be decided by the Scottish Government and I fully support that.
While it is still a reserved matter, I continue to champion the Real Living Wage scheme in the Edinburgh Eastern constituency and encourage local employers to voluntarily sign up to the initiative.
I have visited local employers at the places of work to champion their accreditation while speaking to staff members to hear about the real difference being paid the Real Living Wage makes to their lives.
I also invited accredited employers and their employees to the Scottish Parliament to champion their participation in the scheme.