Making Edinburgh a Living Wage City

During Living Wage Week (9-15 November), Council Leader, Adam McVey and Depute Leader Cammy Day, look at Edinburgh’s ambition to gain Living Wage City status.

They also explain why, in line with the Edinburgh Poverty Commission report, paying a fair wage is just one key aspect of eradicating poverty across the Capital.

Council Leader Adam McVey said:

Last month, we became the first UK local authority to commit to ending poverty by a specific date, setting a goal of eradicating poverty in Edinburgh by 2030. Tackling poverty in Edinburgh remains one of our key priorities as a Council – making sure everyone can take advantage of everything our Capital has to offer. We’ve been proud of and encouraged by the response from the City in getting behind this aim.

Since 2018 every organisation in Edinburgh’s Community Partnership (public, private and third sector) have been signed up to the aim that people need enough money to live on. For nearly 8 years we’ve been a living wage employer and have consistently encouraged other businesses across Edinburgh adopt this approach too. Being paid a decent wage for an day’s work is so important to ensure that everyone can support themselves and their families. This is not only good for our wider economy but will see good quality of life increase for everyone in our City.

Like any organisation, our workforce is the most important asset we’ve got. It’s absolutely vital that we recognise the contribution that they make through their hard work looking after Edinburgh residents.

We are committed to continuing to promote the benefits of paying the Real Living Wage to the businesses and suppliers we work with through our procurement process. The Council’s commitment to promoting the Real Living Wage is reflected in the evaluation of tenders for contract opportunities, where it is now standard practice to evaluate a tenderer’s Fair Work practices.

Depute Leader Cammy Day said:

We have far-reaching ambitions for Scotland’s Capital. The Edinburgh Poverty Commission, of which I’m vice chair, recently published its final report, which included a recommendation for Edinburgh to take steps to achieve Living Wage City status. This is now being explored, together with The Poverty Alliance. At the moment there are nearly 400 employers in Edinburgh who are accredited, with anchor institutions such as the Council, and we aim to significantly increase this number through an action plan to deliver a set target of Living Wage employers across the City.

Our goal of ending poverty in the Capital by 2030 won’t be an easy task. However, by taking on the research and recommendations of the Poverty Commission, which outlined seven areas of action to eradicate poverty from our city within the next 10 years, and working collectively - Governments, partners across the Capital and the Council - we’re determined to end poverty in Edinburgh and create a fairer society for all.


Published: November 13th 2020