MS07: Low Pay Commission Recommendations

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Sir Jack Anderson
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MS07: Low Pay Commission Recommendations

Post by Sir Jack Anderson »

Madam Speaker,

I rise today to inform the House of the Low Pay Commission’s recommendations on changes in the National Minimum Wage, and this government’s actions on considering the recommendations made by the Low Pay Commission.

When Labour first came into government in 1997, a key component of the government’s agenda was the implementation of a minimum wage. Madam Speaker, we all remember the days where we would see jobs advertised with rates of pay as low as £1 an hour. We remember the indignity and poverty that such low pay brought to millions across our country. We remember the urgent need that something had to give for millions across the country who were poorly paid for their hard work.

That government would be bold. That government would take a stand and ensure a hard day’s work was granted with dignified pay. That government fought hard in the face of immense opposition for the minimum wage we enjoy today. Despite fierce opposition from all too many members opposite, and false warnings of two million jobs lost, this government committed to its bold agenda and to putting the hard-working people of Britain first.

By doing this in an evidence-based way, establishing the Low Pay Commission so that we were consulting with academics, businessmen and Trade Unionists, we ensured earnings for the lowest paid have been boosted and that we have set out a pathway to tackling the blight of low pay whilst ensuring businesses and jobs are protected in the process. Labour’s strategy ensures we can consult businesses and work with them to tackle the social ills of the day, not to demonise them as the Conservatives believed we would do, and statist governments of the past had often advocated for. And by doing so, we have seen results not just for businesses – with hundreds of thousands of businesses created and jobs established – but a boosting of earnings for Britain’s lowest paid. But introducing a minimum wage is not enough, and this government fully intends to build on that minimum wage in collaboration with businesses to boost pay without impeding on businesses or jobs.

As many in this House will be aware, in both March 2001 and June 2001 the Low Pay Commission made a series of recommendations. Amongst those recommendations were that in October of this year – now – the national minimum wage for adults aged 21 and over should be increased to £4.10 in October 2001 and £4.20 in October 2002, that twenty-one year olds should be included in the National Minimum Wage, the age coverage of the Development Rate kept under review, and the development rate be increased to £3.50 an hour in October 2001 and £3.60 an hour in 2002.

It was also recommended that there should be further publicity of the headline rate of the National Minimum Wage as well as the existence of the enforcement service and the National Minimum Wage helpline number and that the Inland Revenue and the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service should continue to monitor service to customers at the boundary between the two organisations and examine scope for action to strengthen it.

It was also recommended that the accommodation rate should be increased to a maximum weekly amount of £22.75, or £3.25 a day, that the government should consult representatives of output workers and their employers to see whether there is a case for a change in the regulations on fair estimate agreements and that the Government should ensure the Strategic Commissioning Groups’ concordat makes clear the policies on commissioning care, particularly places in care homes, should reflect the costs of provision.

Furthermore, they recommended, naturally, that any future upratings beyond this should be based on recommendations by the Low Pay Commission resulting from consultation and analysis of a comprehensive range of factors, and that there should be biennial reviews reporting in February for implementing in the following October.

Madam Speaker, the government has accepted these recommendations. We are particularly pleased that this month low paid workers will receive a forty pence boost to their income per hour – an increase on average of up to £870 a year for the average low paid worker. The government has also put forward £1 million for Minimum Wage enforcement and publicity, as per the recommendations, and will consult with the Inland Revenue and the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, the Strategic Commissioning Groups’ and with representatives from output workers. Should there be any significant developments, I will naturally inform the House further.

I’ll also be transparent to the House, Madam Speaker, that I commend the fantastic work of academics, economists, businessmen and Trade Unionists on the Low Pay Commission, and that it is this government’s intention to strengthen their remit so they can built on the results they have helped deliver for this country, for businesses and for the low paid. The government knows the issue of tackling low pay is far from over, Madam Speaker, and this is just one of many bold steps this government will take to see it ended in this country completely.
Sir Jack Anderson
Labour Party.
Member of Parliament for Southampton Test
Chair of the Treasury Select Committee. (2000-2001)
Chancellor of the Exchequer. (2001-)
First Secretary of State. (2001-)
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Barclay A.A. Stanley
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Re: MS07: Low Pay Commission Recommendations

Post by Barclay A.A. Stanley »

I thank the Rt. Hon. Chancellor for his statement. The House will now move on to other matters.
Lt. Col. Sir Barclay A.A. Stanley, Rtd., KBE
Member of Parliament for Macclesfield

Armed with nothing but a pint of gin, Sir Barclay went to battle against the forces of Communism, Socialism, and Liberalism.
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Blakesley
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Re: MS07: Low Pay Commission Recommendations

Post by Blakesley »

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