Dundee SSP

Scottish Socialist Party branches from Dundee

Archive for the 'Angela Gorrie' Category

Happy Birthday to the Minimum Wage (or a decade of inequality?)

Posted by alangdundee on 31st March 2009

Despite marking its tenth anniversary tomorrow, the National Minimum Wage Act continues to discriminate against young workers.

While workers aged 22 or over can expect to receive a minimum of £5.73, those aged 18-21 are guaranteed just £4.77. Workers over compulsory school age but younger than 18 are entitled to a mere £3.53. Those under this age, such as school pupils who deliver papers, are not covered by the legislation at all. In reality this often encourages the practice of employers hiring younger staff at lower wage levels, then finding ways to dismiss them as they age and their wage increases.

Britain is not the only country to have different rates for different people however, of around fifty nations who currently enforce minimum wage levels, only four (Israel, Chile, Belgium and Luxembourg) explicitly discriminate due to age. Other nations categorise based on skill level (Pakistan); industry (Cuba); whether or not the position is in the public or private sector (Bahamas); geographical considerations (Mexico); or how long an employee has been in their role (Canada).

Regardless of whether or not you believe that the minimum wage should exist, the inbuilt age inequality is surely indefensible. Can anyone give a valid explanation as to why the government feel I’ll automatically be worth an extra 97p per hour by the middle of next month, after my 22nd birthday?

Many make the argument that a 22 year old will have more experience, and is less likely to live at home with their parents, so does not require as much money. This opinion is based purely on often wrong assumptions and would have little credibility in a pub debate, let alone as a central part of a so called ‘progressive’ policy.

While the wage paid varies depending on age, the cost of living does not. I’ve yet to walk into a shop and see products priced on a sliding scale according to the customer’s age! Similarly, the income tax levels paid by those either side of the divide are identical.

Although some unions have continued to call for improvements to the minimum wage, such as paying the adult rate at 18, it is clear that these demands are not enough. The Scottish Socialist Party continues to call for a single, £8 per hour guarantee, regardless of the workers age.

Posted in Angela Gorrie, Campaign, Economy, Equality, Youth | No Comments »

Dundee Maryfield By-Election

Posted by alangdundee on 24th February 2009

Short article by Dundee SSP candidate in the Maryfield by election, Angela Gorrie also on the SSP site

Dundee SSP announced our candidate in the Maryfield by election Angela Gorrie.

The by-election in the Maryfield ward of Dundee City Council, scheduled for Thursday March 12th, will be the first local authority contest since the SNP’s u-turn on Council Tax. In an area where Council Tax rates are among the highest in Scotland, this will not go unnoticed.

Although a win in the poll, triggered by the resignation of Labour’s Joe Morrow, will not be enough to give the SNP a majority, it will leave them just one seat away. The 29 member council is currently finely balanced with 13 SNP members, 10 Labour; 3 Conservatives; 2 Liberals and an Independent.

The ward, one of the largest within Dundee, ranges from the docks of the Tay, through the City Centre to the north edge of the City.

Unusually, it also straddles the boundaries of the Dundee East/West Scottish and Westminster parliamentary seats. Unfortunately for activists however, much of the area lies on a steep slope!
The SSP have consistently held stalls in this area over the past few years, something which many passers by certainly seem to appreciate.

Along with weekly City Centre stalls we try to hold earlier activities in the outlying areas of the city. Stobswell Junction, which sits at the top end of the ward, has always been a popular location.

While the early days of the campaign have so far focused on the SSP’s commitment to replace the hated Council Tax with our Scottish Service Tax, based on income and ability to pay, our other policies have also been well received.

The area has a large student population, so our message of abolish all fees and loans; bring back grants has been well received. Due to the location there are also a high number of council workers in the area. Dundee SSP members were highly active around the last Local Authority workers’ strikes last year, spending many mornings, before and after, leafleting workplaces and showing solidarity with workers.

This has not been forgotten, and we have received many positive comments on the streets about our support.

While the ward boasts enviable public transport links – Dundee Bus Station is within the area, and the Railway Station is just to the West – the costs continue to rise. When I first moved to Dundee four years ago, the standard fare was £1.10. This has now spiralled to £1.45. The cheapest fare increased to 80p earlier this year.

At a time when many local facilities are closing, this has put additional financial pressure on many who live in the area. The SSP’s Free Public Transport policy is recognised as a way to combat this, while going some way to save the environment at the same time.

Dundee, as a city twinned with Nablus, has always taken the fight of the Palestinian people to its heart. This was clear at the recent demonstration, one of the largest the City has witnessed in recent years. Dundee SSP is proud to be a part of this movement.

Posted in Angela Gorrie, Campaign, Council, Council Tax, Dundee, Election, Free School Meals, Maryfield by-election, Palestine, Public Services, Scotland | No Comments »

 

Promoted by Kevin McVey on behalf of the Scottish Socialist Party, Suite 370, 4th Floor Central Chambers 93 Hope St, Glasgow G2 6LD.