Parliament hears evidence on minimum wage call

Calls for responsibility for setting the minimum wage to be devolved to Scotland grew today as the Scottish Parliament took evidence backing the move.

Giving evidence to the Welfare Reform Committee, Professor David Bell stated “I don’t have any problem with setting a Minimum Wage differently, in different parts of the UK indeed and therefore it seems to me quite appropriate for Scotland.”

During her speech in Inverness last night, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for the Westminster parties to listen to civic Scotland and ensure that Scotland gains responsibility for setting the minimum wage to “lift thousands more out of poverty”.

Over recent weeks, a number of major charities such as Engender, Poverty Alliance, Children 1st and SCVO (Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations) have stated support for proposals for the Scottish Parliament to have control over this important policy area.

Commenting, SNP MSP Kevin Stewart said:

“The evidence we heard today adds further weight to the growing calls for responsibility for the minimum wage to be devolved to Scotland.

“Several major charities have already given their support to these decisions being made in Scotland because they recognise that there is a determination in the Scottish Parliament to achieve more than Westminster has in this area.

“With the ability to set a minimum wage that reflects Scotland’s priorities, we can lift thousands more out of poverty and ensure that the lowest paid in Scotland are not cut adrift by the rising cost of living.

“People in Scotland rightly expect the Westminster parties to deliver on their vow of extensive new powers and the case for ensuring Scotland has the power to set our own minimum wage is overwhelming.”