Low-pay victory for Brown
Thursday 18 June 1998
In a face-saving compromise for Margaret Beckett, President of the Board of Trade, the Government has agreed to the Low Pay Commission recommended rate of pounds 3.20 an hour for 18- to 21-year-olds, but it will be phased in over 15 months.
Meanwhile, the leader of one of the Labour Party's largest affiliates yesterday clashed with the Government over the decision to "water down" the minimum wage.
But the Chancellor told a packed meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party yesterday that if the wage was set too high it would hit jobs among young people by discouraging employers from hiring them for the "new deal" work schemes.
The Prime Minister andWilliam Hague clashed in the Commons over yesterday's figures showing a rapid rise in wage inflation and signs of an increase in unemployment. "The introduction now of the Low Pay Commission's recommendations is likely to make both problems worse," said the Conservative Party leader.
Downing Street said the outline was agreed by the Cabinet, but the details of the compromise were thrashed out among a small group of key Cabinet ministers with Ian McCartney, Mrs Beckett's deputy
Ministers are confident the compromise will take the heat out of the row which has been rumbling inside the Government since the Low Pay Commission delivered its report.
Speaking at the annual conference of Unison, the public service union, John Edmonds, leader of the GMB general union, accused the Government of a "scandalous" attitude to recommendations from the Low Pay Commission.
He said there was no justification for making the "have nots" even worse off and said the decision to undermine the commission sent out the wrong message from a government committed to social inclusion. "It is scandalous that a unanimous report supported by both sides of industry should be cherrypicked by the Government."
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...