Christina McKelvie MSP (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) has warmly welcomed the news that South Lanarkshire Council will have extra funds to roll out the living wage to care staff.

“It’s great to hear that next year’s Local Government Finance Settlement will provide our councils with a share of £250 million that John Swinney is putting in.

“The Scottish Government is further delivering on its promises. It has paid the living wage to all of the staff it controls directly since 2011. Now that deal will apply to everyone working in the care sector, whether employed directly by the Council, in the independent sector or the third sector.

“This will be good news to organisations like the Self-Directed Support Network in South Lanarkshire. It’ll mean that providers of care packages will be better paid to do the invaluable jobs they do in the community.

“To have a position where every care worker receives a proper living wage, not the paltry so-called National Wage promised by George Osborne at Westminster.”

While the Chancellor is introducing a £7.20 per hour deal, the Scottish Government’s living wage is £8.25 for over 25s, as set by the Scottish Living Wage Foundation. Some 40,000 people will benefit as a result of the move which will come into place on 1 October.

John Swinney’s offer to councils includes a £250 million integration fund, half of which he says: “is provided to help meet a range of existing costs faced by local authorities in the delivery of effective and high quality health and social care services in the context of reducing budgets. This includes our joint aspiration to deliver the Living Wage for all social care workers as a key step in improving the quality of social care.”