Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] — Zero-hours Contracts

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:16 pm on 16th October 2013.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Shadow Minister (International Development) 1:16 pm, 16th October 2013

Let me take the right hon. Gentleman back to the statistics for one minute, if the House will forgive me, because they really matter. The statistics provide the only way of finding out what is going on in our economy from the Government’s point of view. The care Minister told me that 300,000 people working in the care sector were on zero-hours contracts, so that is what the Government say; yet the Office for National Statistics—and therefore the Government again—have reported that there are 250,000 such workers in that sector. That discrepancy cannot stand. In a recent parliamentary answer in October, one of the Secretary of State’s Ministers said that his review did not seek to collect any statistics, but the Department is now reporting an inconsistency in them. Does not the right hon. Gentleman feel that his Department can do better than that?