§ 7. Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of of State for Employment if he will take steps to establish a minimum earnings guarantee.
§ 53. Mr. Spriggs
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what is his policy towards a national statutory minimum wage.
§ Mr. R. Carr
I have no plans for introducing legislation for a national minimum wage at the present time. We are studying all possibilities for tacking the problems of low pay and family poverty including the possibility of a national minimum wage.
§ Mr. Ashley
As millions of low-paid workers in industries covered by wages councils are receiving increases less frequently—and smaller increases—than 583 better-paid workers, may I ask the right hon. Gentleman to consider urgently legislation for a national minimum wage as soon as possible?
§ Mr. Spriggs
Is the Minister aware that the low wages paid by some industries present one of the greatest dangers to the economy and to industrial relations? Will he look into this proposal very carefully?
§ Mr. Carr
Yes, indeed. I certainly agree, as I have made clear on previous occasions in the House, that if we could get larger increases for the lower-paid, while using strength to see that they are not immediately reflected in equal increases for the higher paid, our economy and society would be better off.