THE SNP have slammed a Labour Party claim that nearly half a million Scots would get a pay rise if they were in government.

Under plans to introduce a £10 per hour real living wage, Labour estimated that more than 130,000 workers aged between 18 and 24 – who earned less than the living wage last year – would benefit.

The party has also proposed a minimum income for students, free bus travel for under 25s, the banning of zero-hour contracts and a “Mary Barbour law” to control rent costs.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “How can a young person pay their rent, never mind save for a deposit for a house, when they are getting paid less than the living wage? This needs to end, and Labour will take action in government.

“Labour will put more money in people’s pockets and bring real change to our economy so that it works for the many, not the few.”

But a Scottish minister refuted the claims, adding you “only have to look to Wales” to see what a vote for Labour “actually means”.

Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, said: “Labour have spent years opposing the devolution of employment powers to the Scottish Parliament, preferring instead to leave them in the hands of an austerity-driven UK Tory Government.

“The idea that people in Scotland cannot have improvements to their lives until the rest of the UK agrees to vote for a Labour government is a con that Scottish Labour have been trying to sell for years.

“The SNP has put fair work and supporting young people at the heart of our work in government – and as a result Scotland has the highest proportion of living wage earners anywhere in the UK.

“Support provided to students in further education has increased by a third since Labour were last in power and we are also increasing the care-experienced bursary to £8100 per year.

“We only have to look to Wales where Labour are the government to see what voting Labour actually means – fewer people earning the living wage than in Scotland, higher unemployment, students having to pay tuition fees and much more.”