Scottish Living Wage Campaign News


SLWC Teams Up With Singer-Songwriter, Charles Latham

4th November 2015

The Scottish Living Wage Campaign is delighted to announce a new musical fundraising project with American singer-songwriter Charles Latham.

Charles tells us that he is heading into the studio to record a full-band version of his song, "The Living Wage". The song was previously released as a solo acoustic rendition on his 2012 LP "Fast Loans", which he toured England and Scotland with, alongside Edinburgh based band Withered Hand. The full-band version, scheduled for release in late December 2015, will be available to download as a "single", the proceeds of which will benefit the Scottish Living Wage Campaign as well as the Durham Living Wage Project in Latham's hometown of Durham, North Carolina. 

"That particular song has always gotten a strong reaction, particularly in Scotland," says Latham. "I remember being emphatically told that it was an 'anthem'. I hope that's true, and as the chaos of the election cycle grows louder here in the States, it felt like the right time to try to make a statement." 

Latham has promised to keep us updated on his progress - in the meantime, you can preview the song on his website or by watching his 2013 "Toad Session", recorded by Edinburgh's Song by Toad

We are always looking for new ways to raise funds for the campaign, so we were really excited when Charles approached us about this project. The Scottish Living Wage Campaign has been running since 2007 and has achieved so much, but without vital funds we cannot continue to help build awareness and understanding of the impact of low pay and in-work poverty, and the benefits that the Living Wage can bring to workers, their families and our communities.

This Living Wage Week, it is important to remember that we are part of a global movement fighting for decent wages that enable workers to live a decent life. We hope this project will allow us to link up with fellow campaigners in Charles’ hometown in North Carolina, and beyond. The sentiment in Charles’ song is universal and will hopefully strike a chord with many of our supporters.

New Living Wage Rate Kicks Off Living Wage Week

2nd November 2015

Today the UK Living Wage Foundation revealed the new Living Wage Rate of £8.25, a rise of 40p from the previous rate of £7.85.

This is fantastic news, but comes on the back of a KPMG report that shows that 450,000 working Scots are being paid less than the Living Wage. One in five employees earns an amount below the threshold - an increase of 27,000 people since last year. Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance and Chair of the Scottish Living Wage Campaign, said "we need to do far more" to combat low pay rates. This research reminds us why the efforts to have more employers pay the Living Wage in Scotland is so important."

Our Statement on Latest Low-Pay Figures

12th October 2015

These figures show that there are very clear patterns of low pay in Scotland, patterns that have existed for some time. Not only is low pay more prevalent in rural parts of Scotland, but women and young workers remain at far higher risk of being paid less than the Living Wage. Around 29% of women workers and around 58% of 18-24 year old outside of London were paid less than the Living Wage.

This is partly about the kinds of jobs and sectors that women and many young workers carry out. In ‘accommodation and food services’ 70% of jobs outside of London paid less than the Living Wage, this is a sector that many young workers are employed. The new analysis also found that 50% of jobs in the care sector outside of London were paid less than the Living Wage.

This updated analysis confirms the persistence of the patterns of low pay that we have seen for decades. Women and young workers are at high risk and certain sectors are dominated by low paid employment. These figures should shock us, as they represent the failure of our economy to provide a decent standard of living for everyone.

We know that the Living Wage can help provide that decent standard. We also know that hundreds of employers across Scotland have signed up voluntarily to guarantee the Living Wage to their staff. If we are to break this cycle of low pay then it is clear that many more employers will have to recognise the benefits of investing in their workforce through the Living Wage.

You find all the statistics from ONS here.

"They say imitation is the greatest form of flattery..."

22nd June 2015

Read our blog on the UK Government's budget and the higher rate of NMW here.

250th Living Wage Employer Announced!

30th June 2015

Scotland is well on track to having 500 Living Wage-accredited Employers by March 2016 with a further milestone reached today.

Riverside Cottage Nursery in Bathgate has been confirmed as the 250th accredited employer. This news comes on the same day that Dumfries and Galloway Council are confirmed as the second accredited local authority in Scotland.

Luke Addison, nursery manager said: “We are thrilled to be recognised as a nursery which has fairness and equity for both children and staff deeply embedded in our ethos. We believe that in our changing, growing country, everyone and particularly businesses must take their responsibilities to society seriously. A progressive approach is important to us; we are one of few outdoor nurseries in Scotland and extremely proud to be a Living Wage employer.”

Carol Ann, nursery practitioner added: “It’s wonderful that the nursery is now in a position to pay the living wage. It makes a real difference at the end of the month for my family and reflects that I’m genuinely valued for my work. If this is possible in the childcare sector, there really is no excuse for companies like Amazon to continue paying the minimum wage.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council Leader, Ronnie Nicholson, said:

“Last week, our Council approved a new anti-poverty strategy for Dumfries and Galloway. The strategy sets out what we will do to improve the lives of people in our region experiencing poverty, in all its forms. The strategy aims to tackle this through creating actions that will address the causes of poverty.

“Our Council considers the Living Wage as the single most important contribution to tackling poverty across the region. Dumfries and Galloway is the lowest paid region in Scotland. I am proud that this council is playing its part in tackling that problem by delivering a Living Wage for our staff. But I want to see that rolled out to as many workers across our region through our partners and contractors. Therefore, we will be promoting Living Wage accreditation to all organisations in our region across the public, third and private sectors.”

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said:

“Congratulations to both Dumfries and Galloway Council and to Riverside Cottage Nursery on becoming accredited Living Wage employers. “Local authorities play a vital role by setting an example for employers in their area.

“By signing up to the Accreditation Initiative, Dumfries and Galloway Council have ensured that all of their of employees will always get paid at least the Living Wage. Riverside Cottage Nursery’s accreditation as Scotland’s 250th Living Wage employer is an important milestone for the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative.

“We know that childcare is an area where many women are trapped in low pay but Riverside Cottage Nursery have shown that it is possible for childcare providers to pay the Living Wage and we hope that others will follow suit. It is great to see more and more organisations – of all shapes and sizes – signing up to accreditation and recognising the role of employers in tackling in work poverty.

“We are confident of meeting our target of 500 accredited living wage employers in Scotland by March, and look forward to working with more employers over the coming months.”

Ayrshire Living Wage Group

3rd June 2015

A group of local people have set up an Ayrshire Living Wage group to look at ways they can encourage more employers in the area to pay the Living Wage, as well as celebrating those who already do. Their first meeting will be held on Thursday 18th June 2015 at the Portman Hotel in Kilmarnock. If you would like to attend you can find the groups contact details on their page on our website. The purpose of the initial meeting to find out what local priorities are to start making a campaign plan for Ayrshire. All welcome!

You can download the flyer for the event here.

New Scottish Business Pledge

26th May 2015

The Scottish Business Pledge was launched today. The Living Wage is at the heart of this new initiative to get Scottish employers to commit to fair and progressive working practices.

Our Co-Chair, Peter Kelly, said:

“The goal of creating a fairer economy and more socially just Scotland requires employers to play a full and active role.

“Simply creating more jobs on its own is not enough. Those jobs need to be ones that pay a decent wage, have regular and sufficient hours and where workers are treated with respect.

“Whilst most companies act in this way already, too many do not. The launch of the Scottish Business Pledge is an important step forward in helping to create that fairer economy. We hope that employers signing up to the pledge will show the way for others across Scotland.”

If you want to find out more about the Pledge then you can read the Scottish Government's full announcement here.


200th Accredited Living Wage Employer in Scotland: Brew Dog

19th May 2015

More Scottish companies are signing up to the join the Living Wage Employer movement, with the number of formally accredited Living Wage Employers now standing at 200. The accreditation of the BrewDog highlights that successful companies in all parts of the economy are recognising the benefits of the Living Wage for their employees and their organisation.

BrewDog has rapidly become one of Scotland’s most distinctive brands, moving from being a small craft brewery in 2007 to now employing more than 350 people and operating a network of bars not just in the UK but internationally.

The company has a track record in innovative and forward looking practice, so it is little surprise that they have joined the movement to ensure that everyone gets decent pay.

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance which runs the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative, said:

“BrewDog is well known for doing things differently in the craft beer industry in Scotland. Now it is setting the standard not only for excellent beer, but for good employment practices. We are delighted that BrewDog has become the 200th Scottish company to become officially accredited. With 9 out of 10 people in Scotland being aware of the Living Wage, companies like BrewDog know that not only is the Living Wage good for their employees but it is what their customers want to see too. We hope that more companies will follow their lead. ”

James Watt, Co founder of BrewDog said:

“BrewDog is an eclectic collective of passionate people committed to great craft beer. All of them, from our talented brewers to our awesome bar staff, are integral to our success and growth so we wanted to reward their passion and dedication by guaranteeing a fair wage for all. All of our staff will receive a wage that will afford them a good standard of living wherever they might be located."

“We want this to be a wakeup call for employers, especially in the hospitality industry. What should be a respected profession is often still regarded as a university stop gap. No other bar division has ever looked beyond legal minimum wages or legislative parameters in committing to salary levels for staff. But we want this to provide a call to arms for the industry to pick up its feet and set new standards.”

Cabinet Secretary for Fair Work, Skills and Training Roseanna Cunningham said:

“BrewDog is fast becoming one of Scotland’s most recognisable firms, both within Scotland and internationally, with its striking range of products and unique style so it’s very fitting that they are the latest of a growing number of employers to become Living Wage Accredited.

“The Scottish Government is committed to having 500 accredited employers by the end of March 2016 and we are well on the way to achieving that. I hope to see many more employers, following BrewDog’s lead and realising the benefits of paying their staff the Living Wage in the coming months.”


Living Wage in Dennistoun Public Meeting

14th May 2015

Local residents have organised a meeting to discuss how to campaign for the Living Wage in the East End of Glasgow.

This is following a really successful meeting about food poverty and the Living Wage in Dennistoun a few months ago.

The group have invited a range of speakers, but the main focus of the meeting is to allow local people to discuss how we can build the campaign and focus it should take.

If you would like more info please get in touch!


UK Taxpayer Subsidises Low Pay Culture in Big Retailers by £11bn

12th April 2015

Citizens UK have released a new report which shows the extent to which the UK Taxpayer subsidises low pay in the retail sector. With over 5.24 million people in the UK, 22% of all employees, earning less than the Living Wage, the Treasury is forced to step in and top-up incomes with in-work benefits, such as working tax credits, so that workers can afford a basic standard of living despite being in employment.

The research shows that in the case of some of the UK’s largest retailers, businesses are benefiting more from the Treasury in wage top-ups than they are paying in tax.

Tesco’s low pay culture is supplemented by the Treasury who had to top up their pay rates to the sum of £364 million in the last year, whilst pay for each low waged worker each year at the retail giant Next costs the taxpayer approximately £2,087.

Huge savings could be made to the public purse if companies paid a Living Wage to employees. If Tesco alone made the move tax payers could save £92 million a year.

The Rev Karen Rooms, Area Dean for Nottingham South and member of the Citizens UK Council said: “The figures revealed by this research are shocking, as the true scale of the subsidy of big business becomes clear.

“The huge profits made by some of these high street names are made off the back of poverty-wages. In some instances the amount of tax they pay doesn’t even cover the wage top-ups we all have to chip-in and help with through the Treasury.

“At a time of austerity when all sectors of society have to make savings it seems obscene that big business isn’t playing its part to help the country recover.”

The research sheds substantial light on the retail sector as ‘sales & retail assistants’ make up the largest group of people working on less than the Living Wage across the UK economy at 760,000 people. Despite posting profits of £3.8 billion between them, Tesco, Asda and Sainsbury’s combined, cost the UK taxpayer well over £700 million as the public purse subsidised the wages paid to their staff. If the top three retailers all paid the Living Wage, the Treasury would save over £200 million.

Reverend Paul Regan, Chair of Citizens UK said: “Citizens UK champions the Living Wage as one way responsible employers can help tackle the shocking situation we find ourselves in today, where half of those in poverty live in a household where someone has a job.

“The research we’ve carried out demonstrates just how skewed the system is. Whilst we agree that the major retailers provide employment opportunities, many of these roles are at pay rates so low that workers still have to rely on benefits to get by. These businesses post profits and pay tax, but the reality shows Treasury has to step-in and often pays out more than it gets in to help those workers for whom work does not pay.

“We’re calling on employers to pay the Living Wage as a step towards rebalancing the system and lessen the burden on the taxpayer.”

The combined figure of well over £200 million in savings made by the Treasury should all four major retailers (Asda, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and Tesco) adopt the Living Wage could pay for 30 new schools; or over 800,000 ambulance call-outs.



150th Accredited Living Wage Employer in Scotland!

25th March 2015

A big, huge SLWC Congratulations goes to the 150th Accredited Scottish Living Wage Employer....CMS in Cumbernauld!!!

A huge number of staff got a pay rise following their decision to pay the Living Wage, including lots of young folks who were on lower rates of NMW. A few people saw their earnings DOUBLE as a result...that is truly life-changing.

Andy Kerr, managing director of CMS added:

“Signing up to the Living Wage benefits us as a business in so many ways.

Most importantly, the Living Wage is particularly helpful to our young workers whose role in our long-term business success cannot be understated.

“As our strong growth continues through new commercial, social housing and housebuilding contracts across Scotland, we must continue to invest in today’s young workers who will be the ones taking us forward in five, ten or twenty years from now. That’s why the Living Wage is so important.”

(Oh, and we smashed the 150 target set by SG for 2015..and its only March!)



ONS Statistics Show The Need for a Living Wage

10th March 2015

 Statistics from the Office of National Statistics released today show 70 per cent of those leaving in-work poverty did so following an increase in their hourly pay. The report titled ‘Poverty and Employment Transitions in the UK and EU, 2007-2012’ provides analysis on people in income poverty and the effect that moving from unemployment to employment has on their poverty status.

We believe that this proves the importance of the Living Wage in tackling in work poverty. Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said today:

“These statistics prove that paying a Living Wage can help to lift people out of in work poverty.

“It is clear that the minimum wage is not enough.

“More employers in Scotland are recognising their responsibility and paying the Living Wage. It is time for others to follow their lead in tackling in work poverty.

“A fair days pay for a fair days work is best for the employee, the employer and society.


"Love Food?" Event in Dennistoun, Glasgow

9th March 2015

A group of local people from Dennistoun in the East End of Glasgow arranged an evening of disucssion around the theme of food and food poverty. We were asked along to speak about the Living Wage how it can be part of the solution in tackling food poverty in the Dennistoun area of Glasgow. We were joined by speakers from the local foodbank and Oxfam Scotland.


With almost 40 people packing into a local pub on a driech Monday evening, to say we were overwhelmed by the turnout would be an understatement! But most importantly, the local community want to get together to campaign for more employers to pay the Living Wage.

A second meeting will be organised soon. If you would like to get involved in the campaign, or even just to find out more, please get in touch!


Fife Living Wage Meeting

3rd March 2015

We were invited along to a public meeting held in Glenrothes to talk about the Living Wage, its benefits and how we can encourage more employers in the Fife area to become Accredited Living Wage Employers. The meeting was organised by Melanie Ward, who is standing for a seat in the upcoming General Election. The meeting was really well attended with people from local trade unions branches, churches and voluntary organisations, as well as members of the public and one of the elected representatives from Fife Council.

There is a real appetite for local campaigning around the Living Wage, as well as our trade union and council colleagues being more informed about the business case for implementing it within local authority procurement. We will keep you updated with the local campaigning and if you would like to get involved please get in touch!


100th Accredited Living Wage Employer in Scotland

20th January 2015

We are delighted to have reached the milestone of 100 accredited Living Wage Employers in Scotland!

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid a visit to the 100th Scottish Living Wage Employer, McKean Developments in Barrhead, Glasgow today.

The First Minister welcomed the progress being made and urged other companies to sign up, she said:

“It is great news that 100 companies are now accredited as Living Wage employers. The Scottish Government fully supports the Living Wage campaign and we recognise the real difference the Living Wage makes to the working people in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government is not able to set pay levels in the private sector, or indeed the wider public sector in Scotland where employees are not covered by our pay policy, however we DO encourage all public, private and third sector organisations to ensure all staff on lower incomes receive a fair level of pay, and we are funding the Poverty Alliance to take forward the accreditation scheme.

“The list of 100 accredited companies clearly demonstrates it is not just big businesses who are providing a fairer deal for their staff but small companies like McKean Developments Ltd which is guaranteeing the Living Wage for their staff. I would encourage all employers across Scotland to take the lead from the these 100 organisations and give their workers a Living Wage.”

Colin McLean, Sales and Technical Manager at McKean Developments Ltd, said:

“As a Living Wage Employer it is our belief that our workforce deserve to be paid an honest and decent wage in return for their services. It’s that simple. This, in turn, has helped increased both production capability and morale within our business, leading to increased customer satisfaction and a top quality finished product, not to mention a better quality of life for all of our employees.”

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said:

“Congratulations to McKean’s on becoming Scotland's 100th Accredited Living Wage Employer. This is an important milestone for the Living Wage in Scotland. We are delighted that more and more employers are joining the movement for fair pay. These employers recognise that paying the Living Wage has benefits for their organisations as well as their employees. We look forward to working with McKeans, and all Scotland's accredited employers, to ensure that we all benefit from the Living Wage.”

Hurrah for Hearts! (Again)

11th December 2014

It was announced today that Hearts FC are now an official accredited Scottish Living Wage Employer! Well done to the club who have shown great leadership and decided to become accredited without any pressure from staff or supporters - they just felt it was the right thing to do. Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, which delivers the accreditation initiative, said: "Congratulations to Heart of Midlothian on becoming Scotland's first living wage-accredited football club.Football clubs have an important role in communities across Scotland. With thousands of people turning out every week to support their local clubs, they can play an important leadership role, not only for fans but for the businesses they work with. I hope that more clubs will follow Heart of Midlothian's example by not only giving their staff a pay rise this Christmas, but by showing real leadership on this issue on and off the pitch."

A Heart of Midlothian spokesman said: "The club feels that implementing the living wage is entirely in keeping with the values that we hold dear as Edinburgh's oldest football club. Since revealing our intention to implement the living wage the club has received widespread backing from both our supporters and sponsors."


Additional £200k of Funding for Living Wage Accreditation Initiative!

26th November 2014

We welcomed the announcement that the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative is to receive an additional £200,000 of Scottish Government funding, bringing to total funding package to £280,000. The initiative aims to encourage employers to pay their staff the living wage and be accredited as doing so.  It has been running in Scotland since April 2014 and there are almost 70 accredited employers in Scotland to date. 

This additional funding will allow the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative to build on its initial success and fight to ensure that all workers get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said today:

“We are delighted by today’s announcement of additional funding for the Scottish Living Wage Accreditation Initiative.

“Since it was established in April, the number of employers accredited in Scotland has tripled.

“This funding will allow us to build on this success and we hope to see more employers, from all sectors, becoming accredited.

“We know that in work poverty is growing in Scotland and the living wage is one of the best tools to tackle this”.

To find out more about the Accreditation Initiative please visit their website here.


Three Hamiltons Living Wage Link-Up

6th November 2014

To mark Living Wage Week people in Hamilton in Scotland, Hamilton in Canada and Hamilton in New Zealand got together to celebrate their successes and to support the continuing campaigns to make all 3 Hamiltons fully Living Wage towns.

Unfortunately this didn't include an all expenses trip to either Canada or New Zealand. Instead we linked up through the internet to share an event across the oceans.

Our colleagues in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada hosted the event with the assistance of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation local office, who also conducted interviews with each of us in turn.

Those who participated in the event were:

From Hamilton, New Zealand - Rose Black and Anna Cox from Anglican Action and Annie Newman and Lyndy McIntyre from Living Wage New Zealand

From Hamilton, Ontario – Tom Cooper and Judy Travis - who chairs the Hamilton Living Wage working group and Deirdre Pike from the Social Planning and Research Council who was one of the earliest living wage advocates and helped develop the Canadian calculation and materials. And Donna Jean Forrester Gill from Living Wage Canada (Vibrant Communities Canada).

From Hamilton, Lanarkshire will be members of the Lanarkshire Forum for Social and Economic Justice, trade unions in Hamilton, the Scottish Living Wage Campaign and officers from South Lanarkshire Council.

You can watch the full interview on YouTube here:


Living Wage now £7.85 per hour

3rd November 2014

The UK Living Wage Foundation announced today that the Living Wage is to increase to £7.85 per hour. Our Co-Chair, Peter Kelly, said: "The living wage in Scotland is now gaining genuine momentum with employers - the number of employers paying it here has tripled from 20 to 60 in the last six months.

"But there is no room for complacency. Low pay and in-work poverty is one of the main causes of child poverty in Scotland, so we need to build on the good work that has already been done.

The Living Wage Foundation said the new £7.85 rate "reflects the real cost of living, rewarding a hard day's work with a fair day's pay".

Director Rhys Moore said: "Low pay costs the taxpayer money - firms that pay the minimum wage are seeing their workers' pay topped up through the benefits system.

"So it's right that we recognise and celebrate those employers who are voluntarily signing up to the higher Living Wage, and saving the taxpayer money in the process."

A great start to Living Wage Week!


Hurrah for Hearts!

We are super excited to hear today that Hearts FC are taking steps to become an Accredited Living Wage Employer! We look forward to celebrating over 150 members of staff getting a much needed pay rise!

Here is what our Co-Chair, Peter Kelly, had to say:

‘We are delighted that Hearts FC Board have agreed to move towards becoming an accredited Living Wage Employer.

They are also showing real leadership to other football clubs in Scotland and across the UK by becoming the first to make this important public statement.

They know that the living wage is not only the right thing for the workers they employ, but also the right thing for any employer that values their staff.

Football clubs are ultimately businesses, but they are much more than this to the fans that support them.

It is only right that clubs like Hearts reflect the overwhelming support that the living wage has and do the right thing by their staff.

We hope that other clubs in Scotland follow their lead and pay the living wage.’


Living Wage Week is coming soon!

It all kicks off on the 2nd November with the annoucement of the new Living Wage rate! Click here to find out more about what we have planned!


Celtic FC - Its Time To Pay Your Staff The Living Wage - 23/10/14

23rd October 2014

The Board of Celtic FC recommended that shareholders do not agree to pay all staff the Living Wage. The Celtic Trust and a group of small shareholders have lodged a resolution for their upcoming AGM to implement the living wage and have gathered 1000's of signatures in support. We are deeply disappointed with the Board's recommendations.

Peter Kelly, chairman of our campaign and head of the Poverty Alliance, said: "We know that Celtic are a rich club and can afford to ensure their staff aren't paid poverty wages. Two-thirds of children in Scotland in poverty are in working households and the Living Wage is one of the best ways to help lift these families out of poverty."

Dave Moxham, deputy general secretary of the STUC and member of our Steering Group, said: "Given we are securing some significant gains for the Living Wage from employers far less stable and charitable in outlook than Celtic its an enormous disappointment that given its wage structure its not been seen fit to mete out better treatment to hard-working employees."

Labour MSP James Kelly has also written to Mr Lawwell, outlining the economic case for the living wage, claiming raising workers' pay improves performance. He said: "It appears the board intend to recommend shareholders vote against the resolution. I believe that would be a mistake. I hope Celtic listen to the growing campaign, think again, and use their status as a world famous football club to show the benefits of better, fairer pay."

Jeanette Findlay of The Celtic Trust, and member of our Steering Group: "For the second year running the Celtic board have shamed themselves and the supporters by refusing to become a Living Wage employer. Their excuse for this is no better than they won't pay because they don't have to. We know Celtic are doing very well financially. Our own chief executive pocketed pennies short of £1million this year and yet they are refusing to pay the lowest paid the relatively small sum of £7.65."

Despite the Board's recent recommendation, The Celtic Trust are continuing with their campaign and will be holding petition stalls at the next two home matches. The AGM will be held in late November.

The Scottish Living Wage Campaign will continue to support The Celtic Trust's campaign and will keep you up to date with progress. You can too by signing and sharing their petition: Celtic FC Living Wage Petition


Living Wage Campaign at the Decent Work, Dignified Lives March & Rally on Saturday 18 October.

We joined with 1000's of trade unionists and anti-poverty campaigners in Glasgow to mark the end of Challenge Poverty Week.

We marched from Glasgow Green to George Square in a colourful cavalcade of banners, huge balloons and placards, all demanding more action to tackle poverty, for fairer wages and to an end to Westminster's austerity measures.

We heard from a first-class range of speakers in the Square, including our own Chair, Peter Kelly. He said, "More than 800,000 people in Scotland are living in low income households, and in a rich country like ours, this is unacceptable and unnecessary."

The "headliner" at the rally was Owen Jones. He said, "When Ed Miliband called for minimum wage to rise to £8 by 2020 that was not just derisory, it was an insult. No-one should work for their poverty. Never, never, never!". We couldn't agree more Owen!