Angela Crawley MP for Lanark and Hamilton East last week spoke in Westminster regarding the age discrimination faced by those workers under 25 who are not entitled to the Government’s supposed ‘National Living Wage’.
The debate focussed upon the tiered system of payment for workers, with younger workers bearing the brunt of low pay.
Under the current Government stipulations, only workers over the age of 25 are entitled to the basic rate of £7.20 per hour. Despite younger workers facing the same financial pressures as their over 25 year old counterparts, they are routinely exploited, potentially being paid as little as £3.30 per hour.
During the debate, Angela said:
“The Government do not want to be on the wrong side of equal pay for equal work, so it is about time they got on the right side of history.
“This is not a national living wage and, in fact, the Government are showing audacity in using the words “living wage”, because it is not. The accredited Living Wage Foundation has already made that clear—it is a national minimum wage.
“All it assumes is that every young person has the luxury of deep-lined pockets and a family on whom they can rely. I do not think that is the case, and I am pretty sure that many young people, who are absolutely crucial and are working every hour God sends to make money, would not be happy to hear that the Government genuinely thinks their labour is worth less than some of their colleagues”
Commenting after the debate, Angela stated:
“Once again we see the true ambition of the Government’s purpose – to trap younger, less experienced workers in a cycle of poverty pay and insecure work.
“Not only have we seen an implosion in the amount young people being forced into precarious work – the zero hours contracts, low paid lifestyle – the Government has now reinforced their goal to restrict the ambitions of younger workers, female workers and part-time workers, all through this wage discrimination policy.
“What must always be reiterated at every turn is that this is not a National Living Wage. In typical Conservative fashion, just as the Government achieved with their redefinition of Child Poverty in the UK, if a problem such as low pay becomes too difficult for the Government to tackle, they just redefine what it means to be low paid.
“With this policy, the Chancellor is fooling no one – and he sends out the clear message that younger workers are worth less than their older counterparts. This is a message I will continue to challenge at every opportunity whilst I am in Westminster”.