Low pay remains a very real problem for hundreds of thousands of workers across Scotland. The national minimum wage has helped outlaw blatant exploitation and the tax credit system has helped boost the pay of thousands of low paid workers. But despite this over 350,000 full time workers are low paid. The existence of so many low paid jobs traps individuals and families in poverty, denying the opportunities and choices that should be for everyone in a country as wealthy as Scotland.
In the current financial position we should also recognise the positive economic contribution a Living Wage can make. The cost to the public purse is marginal and low paid workers spend most of their wages in the local community. This stimulates an economy that by next May will be devastated by the Con-Dem cuts.
The Living Wage is just the sort of radical policy Scottish Labour needs to energise its supporters. There won't be the money for big spending commitments, so Labour needs to adopt other measures that reflect the concerns of supporters.