Finance Bill

Part of Bill Presented — Constitutional Convention (No. 2) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:57 pm on 21st July 2015.

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Photo of Mike Wood Mike Wood Conservative, Dudley South 2:57 pm, 21st July 2015

The hon. Lady raises a good point, but she should recognise that while the national living wage will be mandatory only for the over-25s, that does not mean that businesses should not pay young—[Interruption.] When the national minimum wage was introduced, there was a lot of controversy regarding the under-21 rates. The evidence, however, did not back up the idea that employers who were paying the national minimum wage rate for the over-21s were necessarily paying the under-21 rate for 18 to 20-year-olds. I would certainly hope that responsible employers invest in and value their workforce, and pay them accordingly.

The introduction of the national living wage will mean that a full-time person in Dudley South will earn an additional £5,000 in wages during this Parliament alone. The living wage will provide my constituents with the financial security of being able to enjoy higher earnings and a bigger wage packet. The message is loud and clear: the Government want people and businesses to succeed, but while we want the regulation of business to be as low as possible, there is a responsibility on employers, as part of that social contract, not to expect taxpayers to subsidise low wages.

The Government were elected in May because of the prospectus we presented to the electorate, which focused on the future. The Bill continues the strategy that will deliver a more prosperous and more successful future. Only by continuing to focus on our businesses, our apprentices, our jobs and our industries can we deliver for Britain. That is what the Budget set out and what the Bill will achieve. The summer Budget and the Finance Bill build on the success of the past five years to secure a better future for Britain and for our constituents.