Speaking the first meeting of the low pay commission
I’m very proud today to welcome the members of the Low Pay Commission to their first meeting.
The Commission represents the next step in the Labour Party and the Government prioritising work and fairness as the economic recovery takes hold.
Employment is rising rapidly and unemployment is falling.
95,000 new jobs have been created since the depths of the crisis, the vast majority of them full-time.
3,300 jobs are now being created every month.
Unemployment is falling rapidly, and, crucially, so too is long-term unemployment.
Having a job is the best protector against poverty.
And fair wages and conditions are essential to that.
I have long argued that we as a society need to look seriously at the issues surrounding low pay.
My goal is to ensure a social, as well as an economic recovery, led by real growth in people’s wages.
I believe the Low Pay Commission represents an excellent example of how we can achieve both.
The central importance of work to a functioning society is key to my philosophy.
And it has been key to the work of this Government.
We work extremely hard to help job seekers back into employment, education or training.
But a job alone can never be the end of the story.
Essential to a modern, fair society is that we get our people into work that pays, and pays fairly, so that they can support themselves and their families.
So they can feel productive and secure. (more…)