Wages Councils 'being broken up'

Wages councils are being dismantled before Parliament has given approval for their abolition, according to the Low Pay Unit. It says staff of the councils, which set minimum rates of pay for 2.5 million workers, have been sent a letter telling them their jobs were about to disappear.

The unit claims the number of wages inspectors was reduced from 177 in 1979 to 55 by the end of last year, and it could be cut to 43 before Parliament agrees to abolishing the councils.