THE National Minimum Wage is going up by 35p on April 1: a small success for campaigners who have kept the pressure on the Tories. Yet it still falls short of the £10 an hour Living Wage that, according to government figures, is what you need to be earning on a full-time contract to get by in Britain today. Below that rate of pay, people qualify for top-up benefits like tax credits, housing benefit and free school meals to survive.

Even worse is the widespread use of younger workers who don’t even qualify for this new £7.85 Minimum Wage, with many earning below £6 despite doing the same work. So much for a new era of opportunity for young people!

When will the UK Government stop subsidising poverty-pay employers and force corporations to start paying their staff enough to live on? Certainly not with the Tories, SNP or Labour in charge. All three have, while in government, lowered taxes and kept wages down to encourage foreign, private businesses to come and extract as much money as they can from our population.

We demand decent pay and guaranteed hours. If the corporations don’t want to start acting responsibly then good riddance – we will support local business who will.

Hugh Cullen
Scottish Socialist Party