Plan to Eradicate Working Poverty

August 2017 

Labourís five-point plan to eradicate working poverty

This week marked 15 years since a Labour government introduced tax credits. They have lifted millions out of poverty across Britain and they are one our proudest achievements.

But after nearly a decade of Tory and SNP austerity, there remains much more to do to tackle poverty.

Working poverty in Scotland is at its highest point since devolution, with the number of households increasing by 150,000 since the SNP came to power to 420,000.

The Scottish Parliament was meant to protect working people from Tory cuts, yet the SNP has turned it into a conveyor belt for Tory austerity.

Scottish Labour would do things differently. Today we are launching a five-point plan to eradicate working poverty as part of our fight to create a country that works for the many, not the few.

Increase the minimum wage to £10 per hour

Scotland needs a pay rise.

Employers are getting away with paying low wages, which means there are so many people in working poverty in Britain.

We would end the scandal of low pay in this country by creating a Real Living Wage of £10 per hour by 2020, ensuring everyone gets a fair dayís pay for a fair dayís work.

Ban zero-hour contracts

In Scotland, there are more people in insecure work than ever under the SNP.

Hundreds of thousands who wake up not knowing if they will be going to work in any given day, and therefore not knowing what will be in their pay packet at the end each month.

A Labour government would abolish zero-hour contracts, giving stability to those workers.

Scrap the council tax

The SNP promised to scrap the unfair council tax back in 2007. Ten years on, all the Nationalists are proposing is to scrap the council tax freeze.

In 2007, Nicola Sturgeon said: The ďhated Council Tax is totally unfair, and any tinkering with bands would not make the system any fairerÖĒ

A decade on from promising to scrap the council tax all the SNP is proposing to do now is to scrap the council tax freeze. That isnít big enough or bold enough. Scottish Labour would abolish the council tax completely, and replace it with a fairer property based system which would see 80 per cent of households pay less.

Use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to increase the number of people receiving their tax credits

Tax credits have lifted millions out of poverty.

Yet more than 100,000 Scots donít claim what they are entitled to, with £428 million in working tax credit and child tax credit left unclaimed.

Labour will put a legal duty on Scotland's new social security agency to ensure everyone gets what they are entitled to.

Invest in education to prepare our workforce for the jobs of the future

We have to ensure we invest in education to prepare Scotland for the jobs of the future.

Research previously released by Scottish Labour has shown that Labourís plan to invest in education and deliver a more skilled workforce could mean £2billion more in Scottish GDP and hundreds of millions more in additional tax revenue.