Dr Richard Simpson MSP Slams “Low Pay Loophole”

Dr Richard Simpson MSPhas demanded the Scottish Government conduct an urgent review of sub-contracted jobs in the public sector, stating rules on public contracts result in a “Low Pay Loophole”.

Currently, people directly employed by Scottish Government departments are paid the living wage, however jobs indirectly employed by the Scottish Government on sub-contracts, such as cleaning, catering and retail, are offered no such protection due to the SNP refusing to back Labour calls for a living wage in public contracts.

Dr Simpson MSP, a long time campaigner for the living wage, is concerned that such a loophole will see workers in Mid Scotland and Fifemiss out on better pay.

Dr Richard Simpson MSP said “The Living Wage would boost the earnings of a minimum wage worker by over £2,000 a year. It will make positive, practical difference to hard working people in Mid Scotland and Fife.

“But it is also about building a moral economy. Supporting the living wage in the public sector, whilst jobs in its departments are being sub-contracted out simply isn’t good enough.  Especially as these jobs are the very ones that would most benefit from the living wage.

“I know from my regular advice surgeries, correspondence, and conversations on the doorstep and across Mid Scotland and Fife that people want better, fairer wages.

“I have written to the Scottish Government demanding an urgent review of sub-contracted jobs in the public sector. We have to know how widespread and open to abuse this problem is, we need to stand up for people in Mid Scotland and Fife and also across Scotland who deserve a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work, and we need to close this low pay loophole.”

 

ENDS

Notes

  1. Minimum Wage             £6.31    37.5      52         £12,304.50

Living Wage                   £7.45    37.5      52         £14,527.50

The Serious Challenge of Childhood Obesity

Motion S4M-09530: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/03/2014
The Serious Challenge of Childhood Obesity

That the Parliament notes what it sees as the serious challenge facing Scotland of childhood obesity; believes that a combination of lack of physical activity and poor nutrition makes a significant contribution toward this; welcomes the progress made in developing sporting links in communities and in meeting targets for physical education (PE) in schools, but considers that local authorities face a challenge in funding PE; notes what it sees as the steps that were taken by the last Labour-led Scottish administration in removing sugared drinks from schools and in promoting the consumption of water; believes that curtailing the sale of energy drinks to children under 16, as proposed by the campaign, Responsible Retail of Energy Drinks, could make a positive contribution, and hopes that major sales outlets will consider taking steps to reduce the sales of such drinks to children.

Stirling Council Secures Silver Level Food For Life Catering Mark from the Soil Association

Motion S4M-09524: Richard Simpson, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/03/2014
Stirling Council Secures Silver Level Food For Life Catering Mark from the Soil Association

That the Parliament congratulates Stirling Council on becoming the first local authority in Scotland to secure the silver level, Food For Life Catering Mark from the Soil Association for its school meals service; believes that all 51 Stirling Council schools and nurseries now produce meals that are freshly prepared using seasonal ingredients, are better for animal welfare and are free from harmful additives, including trans fats and GM ingredients; notes further that, from 22 April 2014, organic milk will be served in all council primary schools; considers that this could not have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of the Stirling Council team and the support of the Soil Association, and commends the council team for its ongoing work in engaging pupils, teachers and parents, helping to embed Food for Life principles and in transforming food culture in schools and beyond.