§ Mrs. Calton
To ask the Minister for Women what steps the Government have taken to decrease the pay differentials between men and women. 
§ Ms Hewitt
The pay gap between men and women currently stands at 18 per cent., down from 20 per cent. in 1997. The Government are taking a number of steps to reduce the pay gap. As well as the introduction of the national minimum wage and the provisions in the Employment Bill, the fair pay champions and castle awards, are helping to spread good practice on equal pay. All Government Departments are committed to carrying out a pay review by April 2003 and we are also taking forward recommendations from the Kingsmill report.