People’s Plan for Action

– in the Scottish Parliament on 27th October 2022.

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Photo of Ross Greer Ross Greer Green

8. To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the people’s plan for action published earlier in October by the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Poverty Alliance, Living Rent and a number of other groups. (S6O-01475)

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

The cost of living crisis is the most immediate challenge to people and businesses across Scotland, and I am keen that we work together to do what we can to support those who most need help.

We are already providing significant support for households to mitigate the impacts of the cost crisis. By the end of March 2023, we will have invested almost £3 billion in a range of measures for households, supporting energy bills, childcare, health and travel, as well as social security payments that are either not available anywhere else in the United Kingdom or more generous here.

We are making hard choices to prioritise spending, redirect resources and find savings so that we can provide support and reduce burdens where we can.

Photo of Ross Greer Ross Greer Green

I welcome the cabinet secretary’s answer. Enforcing fair work practices is one of the campaign’s nine key asks. Requiring all those who seek public sector grants to pay at least the real living wage would be an example of such enforcement and was a commitment that was made in the Bute house agreement between the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Government.

Will the cabinet secretary therefore confirm that the Scottish Government intends to implement that conditionality as soon as possible?

Photo of Shona Robison Shona Robison Scottish National Party

We remain fully committed to strengthening our approach to conditionality, including payment of the real living wage and channels for effective voice. It is clear that fair work, including fair pay, is more important than ever given the cost of living crisis. We will use all the levers that we can to support people who are affected most.

As we committed to doing in the Bute house agreement, we will introduce a requirement for organisations seeking public sector grants to pay at least the living wage to all employees and to provide appropriate channels for effective voice, subject to the limits on devolved competence. Ministers will confirm the detail of the conditionality on public sector grants in the coming weeks.