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Cost of Living: Energy and Housing

Part of Bills Presented — Finance Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:53 pm on 5th June 2014.

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Photo of Nia Griffith Nia Griffith Shadow Minister (Wales) 2:53 pm, 5th June 2014

It gives me great pleasure to speak in the debate, and I seek to clarify some of Labour’s policies if we were to get into government next year. Some have actually been borrowed by the coalition Government, who have thought, “Yes, there is something in that. The public are interested in that.” However, they have produced a pale imitation of these things in their Queen’s Speech. Let me give some examples. Labour wants to tackle how people on low and middle incomes cope with rising costs. This year, for the first time, we have seen a reasonable rise in the national minimum wage, but that comes after three years of starving it and of costs going up by a far higher amount. We certainly welcome the measures to be tougher on employers who try to dodge paying the minimum wage, who try to make people work more hours than they were intending to or who try to make deductions from people’s pay. We would like more of such measures, but we have not seen many prosecutions. Time and again during questions Labour Members have asked what is happening about prosecuting people who are dodging the national minimum wage regulations. So, yes, let us get that legislation, but let us also get enforcement of it.