Thursday, 14 May 2009

Kill This Tory Bill

Crewe Blog has covered the story, following my press release: Behind the scenes, a Private Members Bill to allow companies to opt out of the minimum wage has caused a bit of a kerfuffle. Now Crewe is a hard-working town and many of its inhabitants earn a basic wage. Surely, as some put it, "scrapping" the minimum wage would have disastrous consequences for many. That in itself is OTT as we're talking about chat and debate in the corridors of power. Still, a bill that promotes the idea of allowing companies/workers to choose pay levels deserves closer inspection. It's certainly something that worries Labour's David Williams who points the finger at a few Conservatives who have tabled a bill that gets its second reading this Friday in the House of Commons. To clarify matters, there are 11 Conservatives backing the bill at present, as listed here on under the "Employment Opportunities" section. Williams is backing a campaign to stop the bill in its tracks and you can get more information here on the Wage Concern website. However, Crewe MP Edward Timpson has been quick to distance himself from the bill and has told the blog that he is 100% behind the National Minimum Wage. That will put many Crewe folk at ease, but the fact that a few MPs are keen to promote such a bill is worrying. Thoughts?

David Williams posted the the following comment on Crewe Blog:

I would be more reassured by our MP's 100% support for the National Minimum Wage if I thought he had any influence on Tory Party policy.

At best a Conservative Government would let the minimum wage wither on the vine with little or no increases until it becomes virtually worthless. At worst they will introduce exemptions, as proposed in this Tory Bill, that will effectively abolish this vital wage protection.

The Tories have never been committed to the minimum wage and this Bill gives us a little insight into what they will do in Government. We know that they are also committed to a bonfire of basic employment rights including equal treatment for part-time workers, paid holiday and everything else delivered through Labour signing the European Social Chapter.

Tomorrow I will be in Parliament persuading MPs to vote down this disgraceful Bill. I assume that as our MP is 100% behind the minimum wage he will be in the House to vote against second reading this Tory Bill?

Please click here to follow the debate on Crewe Blog

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