Politicians clash over minimum pay

Minimum wage
Minimum wage

A Labour MP’s calls for employers to pay the minimum wage have been blasted as ‘anti-business’ dogma by his Conservative opponent.

Graham Allen, of Bulwell, made the demand after the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills named and shamed 37 companies across the country who have failed to pay their workers the minimum wage, including a Nottingham business.

But Conservative Parliamentary candidate Louise Burfitt-Dons described Mr Allen’s statement as ‘desperate’ which ‘resulted in him finding just one struggling nursery which hasn’t paid two workers the minimum’.

Mr Allen said: “People are working harder and are seeing little reward for their efforts, with many struggling to get by. They should be paid what they deserve. I am pleased these businesses have been caught, however there’s a good chance there are other companies who are still getting away with this. I hope businesses in Nottingham North are paying their staff at least minimum wage. The Government should ensure that no company gets away with paying its workers less than they deserve.”

Ms Burfitt-Dons said the figures showed that companies are conscientious in paying the minimum wage almost without exception’. She added: “To pay any wages at all requires a business to create wealth and profits which enables them to pay not only the minimum amount in salaries but often well above it. This is simple market reality which Mr Allen conveniently ignores, but prefers instead to espouse the usual old Labour dogma with an anti-business agenda.”

GMB Calls For Directors Of 37 Firms Named For Not Paying National Minimum Wage To Be Denied Further Directorships

The enforcement rules should also be changed so that trade unions can make complaints to HMRC on behalf of members says GMB.

GMB commented on the naming and shaming 37 employers who Government has branded National Minimum Wage offenders. See notes to editors for copy of press release from BIS naming the 37 companies from across the UK.

Martin Smith, GMB National Organiser, said “Government needs to make a real commitment to making work pay by more aggressively seeking out offenders to prosecute them. The enforcement rules should also be changed so that trade unions can make complaints to HMRC on behalf of members.

As part of the public disgracing for the firms named GMB is calling for the directors of these companies to be placed on a “wage offenders register” at Companies House and be deemed an unfit person to hold any further directorships.

There needs to be a recognition that a national minimum wage of £6.50 is near impossible to live on as it is without relying on state benefits.

There are bucket loads of evidence that an uplift of at least 50p per hour would help the low paid and start to stimulate the economy and that all the big firms including the retailers can afford it.

There is no justification for the national minimum wage not keeping up with inflation. The Low Pay Commission should recommend a rate of at least £7 per hour from October 2014 to make up the ground lost since 2006.

It is time for the Low Pay Commission to do what it says on the tin – “fight for the low paid”.”