by Mary Fee MSP

As a long-term supporter of the living wage, I am delighted that Labour has committed to ensuring that every worker earns at least £10 an hour, including those under 18.

Workers under the age of 18 are currently only entitled to a minimum wage of £4.35 per hour.

That is just over half of what workers over 25 years of age earn.

Average real pay for 16 and 17 year olds is still below its 2006 level, and young workers are more likely to be in insecure work and on zero hours contracts than their older colleagues.

It is right that people earn the same wage for doing the same work – regardless of age, sex, gender and race.

To ensure that young people can afford to live as well as save for a house or car, there must be an equal pay for all.

Full-time workers over 25 on the Tories fake living wage of £8.21 an hour will see a pay rise of more than £3,000 per year.

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I am proud of my party’s record in promoting fair pay. It was Labour who delivered the National Minimum Wage and brought in the Equal Pay Act. However, we know more can and must be done to tackle in-work poverty.

It will be Labour that again takes the lead on ensuring a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

In 2014, the SNP Scottish Government introduced a charge for exam appeals.

These charges are to be paid from school budgets which has acted as a disincentive to many state schools submitting exam appeals.

Figures from 2018, released through a Freedom of Information request, show that there is a gap of 4.6 per cent between state schools and private schools appealing results.

State schools, run by local authorities, appealed just 2.4 per cent of their results, compared with private schools appealing 7per cent of their results.

The gap of 4.6per cent is the second highest since the charges were introduced in 2014.

We are calling for these exam appeal charges to be scrapped to create a level playing field for all children, regardless of parental wealth.