National Minimum Wage

Part of Opposition Day — [6th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 2:23 pm on 15th October 2014.

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Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Conservative, South Derbyshire 2:23 pm, 15th October 2014

It was really interesting to hear Ms Buck deliver the last bit of her speech, as it was the most promising and uplifting part of the whole thing. The tone of this Opposition debate has been so downbeat. As usual, it is about doom and gloom. The only way out, say the Opposition, is through regulation and for a would-be Labour Government to layer more and more costs on business. Life is not like that. Labour has not learned its lesson. I find it utterly fascinating that, four years into this parliamentary term, we have this synthetic anger and calls for regulation and layering costs on business, not to do the things that our communities need. We need to lift horizons, especially with regard to education.

One of the things that I am most proud about is the fact that we now have a college in South Derbyshire. We have never ever had one before. It was normal for people to leave school at 14. The boys went down the pits and the girls went into the potteries; that is what they did. Well, it is not like that any more, and it must not be like that. If I can get a college in South Derbyshire, surely to goodness, Labour MPs can think about lifting the horizons for their communities. They should think about how people can get better jobs, because they now have better education. We have 1.3% unemployment in South Derbyshire. When the mines shut, we had 25% unemployment. That is a huge change around in the economy of my constituency.