The first National Minimum Wage came into force on 1st April 1999.

It’s one of the greatest achievements of the last Labour Government, improving living standards for millions of people.

Many workers under 40 won’t remember a time where employers used to openly exploit workers and pay them as little as they liked, but that was the reality of the world I grew up in.

We were told that this was a price worth paying. That a £1 an hour job was better than no job and a minimum wage would create mass unemployment.

The Conservatives did everything they could to try and stop the Minimum Wage being introduced, from voting against it to trying to talk it out.  –

Labour delivered and we proved them wrong.

According to analysis by the Resolution Foundation the bottom fifth of workers have seen 40% real pay growth since 1999 – that’s twice as fast as the rest of the workforce. As a result low pay has fallen to its lowest since 1982.

While we recognise these milestones we have to keep looking forward, because there is a lot more work to do.

I want to see the end of young people being forced to take a lower minimum wage than their older colleagues in the same job.

I want to see the “National Living Wage” as it’s now called actually keep pace with a real Living Wage that meets the cost of living in Britain today.

We need a much more robust enforcement of these rules to stop those employers intent on continuing to profit from the exploitation of working people.

I’ve signed the following Motion in Parliament to mark the occasion:

EDM 2211
EDM 2211
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