Tuesday, 08 January 2019 08:35


The SNP has pledged to protect Scotland’s lowest paid workers from Tory austerity ahead of the UK government's Finance Bill, which reaches its next stage in the House of Commons today (Tuesday).

The party has published an amendment (Amendment 12) which would block the Tory government from removing the link between the minimum wage and the personal allowance, which currently ensures no one working on minimum wage is subject to income tax.
Previously, SNP MP David Linden has pressed the UK government to deliver a Real Living Wage for workers. At present, the Tories’ National Living Wage is set to rise to £8.21 an hour from April 2019. This is short of the £8.75/hr (£10.20/hr in London) Living Wage as set by the Living Wage Foundation and is only applicable for those 25 and over, with a band-style system to those under 25 rising gradually.
SNP MPs have also co-signed a cross-party letter published yesterday (Monday) confirming their commitment to opposing a No Deal Brexit, which would see household incomes slashed and living standards hit.
Commenting, SNP Economy spokesperson Kirsty Blackman MP said:
“As the Finance Bill is debated once again in the Commons, the SNP is determined to protect the lowest earners in Scotland from Tory austerity. Whilst Labour support Tory plans for tax cuts for the better off, the SNP have introduced a progressive and fair system of tax in Scotland.
“The Tory Budget has failed to deliver positive news for Scotland whilst the UK government prepares to embark on a Brexit path which Scotland did not vote for that will cause havoc to Scotland’s economy.
“The Tories cannot be trusted to uphold the rights of those workers on the lowest incomes. This SNP amendment will ensure that the threat of any changes to personal allowance or the UK government’s minimum wage - which falls far short of the Real Living Wage - will not leave those on low incomes worse off.
“The SNP will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that workers on the lowest incomes are protected.”

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