The Government has completely failed to ensure proper enforcement of the minimum wage so that vulnerable workers are protected. They have made more announcements on naming and shaming firms that flout the minimum wage than firms they have actually named.
Ed Miliband, on the other hand, launched a Review of Low Pay, led by Alan Buckle, former Deputy Chairman at KPMG International, to investigate how to restore the value of the minimum wage, ensure that where sectors can afford to pay more, they do, and promote the living wage.
Under Labour plans, firms which sign up to become Living Wage employers in the first year of the next Parliament will benefit from a 12-month tax rebate of up to £1,000 – and an average of £445 – for every low paid worker who get a pay rise.
The measure will be entirely funded from the increased tax and National Insurance revenue received by the Treasury when employees receive higher wages. Additional savings in lower tax credits and benefit payments, as well as increased tax revenues in future years, will cut social security bills and help pay down the deficit.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“I was proud to vote this week for a motion backing the minimum wage in the face of recent attacks by Tory MPs. It is important that we protect it after fifteen years, particularly now that some Conservatives are turning against this crucial protection for the low paid.
“I was particularly shocked by the comments of one Tory MP, who has suggested that companies should be allowed to pay disabled people less than the minimum wage.
“Another has suggested that the minimum wage should be suspended for 16-21 year olds.
“These comments are hardly surprising considering the Tories refused to back Labour’s minimum wage policy in 1999.”