Young workers are set to lose out on over £11,000 compared to older colleagues under new minimum wage plans being introduced by the Conservatives, according to Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP.
George Osborne has said he wants his new national ‘living’ wage to reach £9 per hour by 2020 - but this only applies to those over 25. Liberal Democrat research shows that this means a 20 year old starting in a minimum wage job today will earn over £11,000 less by 2020 than someone who is 25. The Liberal Democrat analysis comes as Scotland marks Living Wage Week 2015.
It is estimated that more than 39,000 people aged 16 – 24 were employed in minimum wage jobs in Scotland in 2014.
Commenting, Willie Rennie MSP said:
"The Tories are hurting young people who are starting out in their careers.
“George Osborne boasted that he will introduce a national living wage, but these claims will ring hollow for the thousands of young people in Scotland set to miss out on any pay increase next year.
“Many young people will lose thousands of pounds a year by 2020 as a result of the Chancellor’s sleight of hand. What is worse, the Tory living wage is more than £1 an hour less than the actual living wage calculated by independent experts.
"This makes a mockery of Tory claims to be the workers’ party.
“Ruth Davidson cannot ignore the damage that her colleagues at Westminster are doing. She had no influence in blocking tax credit cuts, where her Scottish tory peers lined up to vote for the government’s plans. Either she does not care about these attacks on working people or she is incapable of stopping them.”