HC Deb 30 January 1998 vol 305 cc415-6W
Yvette Cooper

To ask the President of Board of Trade if she will make a statement on the Government's evidence to the Low Pay Commission. [27290]

Mr. Redwood

To ask the President of the Board of Trade on what date the Government will submit their evidence to the Low Pay Commission. [24675]

Mr. Ian McCartney

The Government have today sent a copy of the Government's evidence to the Low Pay Commission. It sets out the Government's approach to the national minimum wage and provides background material to aid the Commission in its deliberations.

In particular, the evidence sets out: the incidence of low pay in the UK focusing on groups which suffer disproportionately from low pay, including young people, women, part-time workers and ethnic minorities; the economic background and the context of current pay practices and arrangements into which the national minimum wage will be introduced; and the likely implications of the national minimum wage for the labour market, focusing on a number of groups, particularly young people, and for the Exchequer.

In areas where the LPC has been asked to make recommendations such as the rate of the NMW, the treatment of young people and what elements of pay might count towards the hourly minimum wage, the Government have set out facts and issues for the LPC to consider. The final recommendations will, however, be for the LPC to make. We look forward to receiving their report.

The evidence also places the national minimum wage in the context of related Government policies to improve employability, help people back into work and promote a more fair and inclusive society.

Copies of the evidence have been placed in the Libraries of the Houses.

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