SCOTTISH SOCIALIST PARTY
Contact : Ken Ferguson 07925 613145
ON THE DAY MINIMUM WAGE RISES 60p, COVID-19 CRISIS LEAVES MILLIONS WITHOUT ANY WAGES AT ALL
The all consuming Covid-19 crisis ”exposes the scale of insecurity and poverty pay in Scotland after a decade of austerity,” SSP National Cospokesperson Colin Fox said today.
“Just as the crisis highlights the indispensable role played by workers in key jobs from the NHS to supermarkets and bin men it also spotlights the plight of millions of ‘gig economy’ workers now facing destitution.
”For all its promises of help to claimants, the employed and self-employed the Government has not yet given an extra penny to help those ‘furloughed’ by the Covid-19 emergency.
“In this context today’s 60p rise in the minimum wage to £8.72 is, for the millions laid off, rather beside the point.
“When the banks are texting customers warning them unauthorised borrowing will cost 39.9% interest and telephone lines to the Universal Credit benefit office ring off the hook, there is a world of difference between declarations that ‘we are all in it together’ and reality.
“The immediate need is for all necessary action to ensure that the threat of death from Covid-19 is not compounded by the prospect of hunger and destitution. Government promises to workers need delivering.
“Likewise, gig workers cannot wait until June for payment; they need to put food on the table now.
“Urgent action is needed if the most vulnerable workers are not to have the virus of destitution added to that of Covid-19. And when this emergency is finally over a minimum wage of £12/hour [set at 2/3rds of male median earning] will be more necessary than ever to help those most in need.”
NOTE: Minimum wage rises on 1st April 2020