Glasgow signs a strong pledge on minimum income

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Glasgow signed a strong pledge on minimum income in June 2020. This is the second pledge from Glasgow, reaffirming the city's commitment to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights, after the first pledge submitted in February 2019 on housing and assistance for the homeless (ESPR principle 19).

Glasgow is one of the few cities in Europe that has cross-party agreement to trial a universal basic income. Since 2017, the city has been working with the Scottish Government and three other local authorities on the feasibility of local pilots for universal basic income in Scotland, which led to a set of recommendations in a report approved in June 2020. Glasgow is now committed to follow up on the UBI pilot study findings, using the lessons learned to inform policy and explore implementing with stakeholders and partners at home and internationally.

The city has in place a whole-city strategy to fight poverty - 'The People Make Glasgow Fairer Strategy'. The strategy was developed in partnership with volunteers from Glasgow communities who have lived in and experienced poverty. To deliver the strategy in an integrated and cross-sectoral way, the city has a Poverty Leadership Panel that leads the work to reduce poverty in the city. This shows fighting poverty and reducing inequalities combined with increasing economic growth are key strategic aims of the city.

In the context of COVID-19, Glasgow has decided to put people at the centre of the recovery because 'People Make Glasgow'. The city is committed to ensure that growing and emerging sectors, such as creative industries, and the green and digital economies, benefit and improve working opportunities for all, especially, the most affected by Covid-19. 

The city's pledge shows Glasgow is a 'Fair Work City', committed to support those furthest from the labour market back in to work and to ensure everyone has the right to live in dignity. To achieve this, Glasgow takes a threefold approach combining actions on minimum income, tackling poverty and community empowerment. Such actions include:

  • Rolling out the Glasgow Living Wage to fight in-work poverty  – this living wage was increased from £9 per hour to £9.30 per hour on 1st of April 2020 - extending to over 400 employers with more than 89,000 staff who pay this living wage
  • Using social clauses in public procurement to ensure that fair employment practices and the living wage are built into all work the Council does across Glasgow
  • Reducing child poverty in the city such as by supporting food aid programmes to children and young people with a budget allocation of £2 miillion annually 
  • Supporting the Glasgow Guarantee employability programme which helps people get into work and helps local businesses to grow and prosper 

The city pledge was jointly signed by Councillor David McDonald, who is the Deputy Leader of Glasgow City Council, Councillor Ricky Bell, who is the City Treasurer, and Bailie Annette Christie, who is the Convener for Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community & Citizen Engagement. They said: "As a Fair Work City, the City Government of Glasgow is committed to agile, adaptive economic development & investment focused on inclusion, decarbonisation and fair work. This underpins our approach to achieving social rights in our city and ensuring that we are an Inclusive City for All, and contributing to an inclusive and fair Europe for all."    

Read the full pledge below. 

EUROCITIES campaign 'Inclusive Cities for All' continues with new impetus

This city pledge is part of the EUROCITIES initiative ‘Inclusive cities for all: Social Rights in my city’. This initiative mobilises mayors and deputy mayors to implement the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights at local level. EUROCITIES will continue this campaign throughout 2020 as part of its strategic partnership with the European Commission under the Employment and Social Innovation programme. 

Our campaign is now even more important to make the role of cities visible in achieving a stronger social Europe especially in the new context of the pandemic crisis and during the recovery. We want to show how cities have stepped up during the crisis as guardians of social rights and acting to protect the most vulnerable people, and how cities are working hard to ensure a fair and inclusive recovery, leaving no one behind. 

Is your city working to push forward fair work, equality and inclusion policies at local level? Do you want to make your city known as a champion 'inclusive city for all'? Join our campaign by submitting a (new) city pledge on one or several of the 20 principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights. All new city pledges submitted until early September will be announced during a EUROCITIES high-level political event with the European Parliament in autumn 2020. 

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EUROCITIES staff contact

Bianca Faragau-Tavares