§ 21. Mr. Andrew Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received from the Electrical, Electronic, Telecommunications and Plumbing Union and the Amalgamated Engineering Union concerning wage levels.
§ Mr. Howard
None—but those unions' general secretaries have made it clear that their members would strongly oppose any wage restraint for higher-paid workers linked to Labour's proposals for a national legal minimum wage. If pay differentials were fully restored, up to 2 million jobs could be lost.
§ 22. Mr. Hannam
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what representations he has received about the effect of wage levels on job prospects in the different regions of the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Howard
I continue to receive representations about the adverse effect of statutory wage fixing on jobs. 617W Labour's proposals for a national legal minimum wage would have a disastrous effect on employment. Up to 2 million jobs could be destroyed if pay differentials were fully restored.
In April 1991, 7.4 per cent. of full time adult employees in the north-west were earning below this amount.
Questions on operational matters in the Employment Service executive agency are the responsibility of Mike Fogden, the agency's chief executive, to whom I have referred this question for reply.