Labour to Increase Minimum Wage(May 19, 2014)
Steve Rotheram has welcomed Labour's announcement to raise the national minimum wage if elected in 2015 through the creation of a Low Pay Commission that will set all businesses the target of implementing higher wages in five years time.
Steve explained, "The Labour Party has today set another historic and ambitious target of increasing the minimum wage. Ed Miliband has been bold in calling for the Government to set up a Low Pay Commission with a five-year target to increase the minimum wage to a more stretching proportion of median earnings. By implementing a clear five-year target, the Labour Party is being fair to local businesses by giving them the time to plan and adapt their business models to boost productivity to support higher wages.
"Labour will safeguard jobs and the economy, by allowing the Low Pay Commission to retain flexibility in the face of shocks. It will be the Low Pay Commission's job to meet this target with recommendations year to year on the cash level of the National Minimum Wage. If they believe, based on economic shocks, that the five-year target cannot be met they would be able to write to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills with compelling reasons for that judgement.
"Further, the Commission will tackle sectoral differences with a partnership approach between employees and employers, by empowering the Low Pay Commission to set up taskforces in sectors that could afford to pay more and sectors with systemic problems of low pay.
"We will also improve enforcement, by extending the remit of HMRC and giving local authorities new powers of inspection and enforcement of the minimum wage.
"Promote the Living Wage, by using the power of procurement to encourage organisations bidding for large government contracts to pay their staff a Living Wage, strengthening reporting requirements, and creating temporary incentives to support more employers to pay the Living Wage.