Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has today criticised the UK Government as it was confirmed that young people are set to miss out on an increase to the minimum wage.
Liberal Democrat analysis of data from the Low Pay Commission - ahead of the start of Living Wage Week 2015 launch today - has shown that 13,440 people in Scotland aged 21 to 24 in minimum wage jobs will not see their pay increase when the minimum wage rises to £7.20 next year. An additional 25,577 people aged 16 to 20 are also set to miss out.
In Orkney, 496 people aged 21 to 24 in minimum wage jobs will not see their pay increase when the minimum wage rises.
UK Government Ministers have claimed repeatedly that the minimum wage increase will balance cuts to tax credits. However, the new minimum wage will only apply to workers aged 25 or above.
The statistics come as the Living Wage Foundation announced at the start of Living Wage Week 2015 that the living wage is due to increase to £8.25, £1.05 higher than the minimum wage rise to £7.20 next year.
Commenting, Liam McArthur MSP said:
“These figures show nearly 500 young people in Orkney are set to miss out on a pay increase next year. It is unfair that young people who are working hard to get on in life are being discriminated against in this way and excluded from an otherwise universal wage increase.
“In the context of cuts to tax credits, including for young families, the current UK Government is adding salt to the wound for young people. Young people and young families in Orkney are paying the price.
“I want to see everyone, including young people, earn a fair wage for the work they do so they can provide for their families and themselves. These changes fail to deliver that and actively work against it.”