HC Deb 18 February 1986 vol 92 cc145-6W
81. Mr. Stan Thorne

asked the Paymaster General what change has taken place in the level of wages of the lowest paid 20 per cent. of workers since 1979; and how this compares with the inflation rate over the same period.

Mr. Lang

Between April 1979 and April 1985, results from the New Earnings Survey indicate the level of earnings below which the gross weekly earnings of 20 per cent. of full-time male adult employees pay, increased by 79 per cent. For full-time female adult employees the increase was 86 per cent. Over the same period the retail prices index increased by 75 per cent.

114. Miss Boothroyd

asked the Paymaster General what is the lowest and highest average wage provided for young workers under current wages council orders.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

For workers other than adults, the highest and lowest average minimum hourly rates currently laid down by wages councils are £1.61.5 by the laundry wages council and £1.00 by the hairdressing wages council, respectively. In each case, the figure given is the average of all the rates applicable to non-adult workers.

96. Mr. Lofthouse

asked the Paymaster General if he expects wage rates for adults to increase or decrease as a result of the reform of the wages councils.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

The eventual effect of the reform on pay levels will depend on a variety of factors including the way in which employers and workers settle pay matters no longer governed by wages orders, and the level of the minima set by the councils in the light of their new responsibilities. The reforms will introduce much greater flexibility in pay setting and more variation in pay structures between different businesses but it is not possible to make firm forecasts of the overall effect.