HC Deb 22 May 1969 vol 784 cc641-2
6. Mr. Barnes

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity what plans she has to deal with the problem of low wages, in view of the conclusions of the Green Paper, "A National Minimum Wage".

Mrs. Castle

I am considering the problem of low wages in the light of the inter-departmental report on a national minimum wage, the information becoming available from the new earnings survey and the question of equal pay, since the great majority of low-paid workers are women.

Mr. Barnes

Since the Green Paper comes to the conclusion that a national minimum wage would be a less efficient way of relieving poverty than selective social benefits, is my right hon. Friend familiar with the contribution which negative income tax could make in this area?

Mrs. Castle

First, it is not really a Green Paper. It is an inter-departmental report by officials and it is put forward so that all of us who are interested in the problems of the low paid can have some of the essential information for considering this problem. There is a separate Question on the second part of the question.