Treasury written question – answered on 14th May 2014.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Labour, Birkenhead

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer

(1) how many and what proportion of (a) directly employed staff and (b) contracted staff in HM Revenue and Customs are paid less than the Living Wage as defined by the Living Wage Foundation;

(2) how many and what proportion of staff employed by (a) HM Revenue and Customs and (b) via his Department's sub-contractors are paid an hourly rate that is lower than the living wage in each site of employment in each parliamentary constituency.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Exchequer Secretary

99.81% of HMRC’s staff are paid above the living wage.

HM Treasury fully complies with EU procurement directives and awards contracts on the basis of the best value for money for the taxpayer. Nevertheless, we have encouraged contractors to commit to paying a living wage and expect all employers to pay at least the national minimum wage.

The Government supports businesses that choose to pay the Living Wage however the Government’s main policy on wages is the National Minimum Wage, which has continued to protect the relative wages of the low paid. This is independently set by the Low Pay Commission at a level that maximises their wages without reducing employment prospect. It is for workers and employers to decide the level of wages above the minimum wage based on current circumstances. This includes the Government as a procurer and an employer. Over 95%, around 20 million employees earn above the minimum wage and the majority of public sector workers currently earn above the Living Wage.

Under the Data Protection Act we are unable to provide a full table breaking down the proportion of staff in each constituency being paid below the Living Wage.

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