Glenrothes residents have been ‘let down’ by the UK Government’s budget according to the town’s MSP.
Jenny Gilruth has raised concerns following the UK Government’s Budget last week, amidst worrying figures for the local area in Fife’s Local Economic Profile 2021-2022.
According to the report, the employment rates in the Glenrothes Area are considerably lower than the Fife and Scottish rates, standing at 61.4%.
This is a considerable decrease from the 75% employment rate prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. This means that alongside the Cowdenbeath area, Glenrothes has seen one of the highest falls in employment rates across Fife.
Alongside this, the report showed that the Glenrothes constituency has the lowest resident earnings in Fife, at just £554.90 a week. Lastly, the report showed that Glenrothes had the highest percentage across Fife of employee jobs with hourly pay below Living Wage at 13.3%.
This news comes amidst the UK Government’s Budget, which will usher in a 6% drop in living standards over this fiscal year and the next as inflation outstrips income growth.
Commenting, Jenny Gilruth MSP said:
“The UK Budget announced by the Tory Chancellor was another missed opportunity to take meaningful action to lift families out of poverty, invest in our public services and help businesses so that our local economy can grow.
“The lack of action has real consequences for families in Glenrothes – people have been totally let down.
“The Scottish Government is doing what we can with our limited powers to ensure people receive the help they need, but we does not yet have the full powers over the economy and employment to ensure that families across Glenrothes are not left behind.
“Take the Living Wage for example – while the Scottish Government has encouraged firms to pay workers the Living Wage, the powers to raise the statutory minimum wage to these levels lie at Westminster and the Tories refuse to lift a finger.
“As a result, Glenrothes has the highest levels of employees paid below the Living Wage across Fife. This is unacceptable.
“With the full powers over the economy that independence would offer, families across Glenrothes could see the transformational change they need from a Government that they actually vote for.”