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Income Tax

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 25th June 2019.

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Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

We are working within the law to ensure that as many people as possible are paid the living wage. I get advice on what is legal and what is not, and we are doing everything that we can within the law to support the living wage. It is good news that more people are paid the living wage in Scotland than in any other part of the United Kingdom, but of course everyone should be paid at least that.

We have a focus on the living wage and the fair work agenda. Tackling inequality is really important—it is one of the issues that drives the reports that we are hearing about. Inequality is getting deeper in Scotland than elsewhere in the United Kingdom, which is having an impact. Those at the top are being paid disproportionately more, while we are trying to bring those at the bottom of the structure up.

I absolutely agree with James Kelly about the minimum level. It would be better if we had devolution, control and power over employment law and setting the minimum wage in Scotland. However, in the absence of that authority and those powers, we will do everything that we can as a Government to encourage payment of the living wage by those from whom we procure services, as well as more widely.