In the House of Lords on 1st April 2014 Lord Young of Norwood Green asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what plans they have to mark the 15-year anniversary of the minimum wage, which took effect on 1 April 1999.’ The Bishop of Leicester asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of Leicester: My Lords, in view of what the Minister has said about there being much work to do on the living wage, does he agree that a good way to mark this anniversary would be to commission an independent inquiry into the actual effects of raising the minimum wage to the living wage for everyone?
Viscount Younger of Leckie: I cannot comment on whether there should be another inquiry but it is fair to say that this strays into the territory of poverty. Perhaps I may reassure the House that this Government are very much focusing on poverty, which is very complex. There are all kinds of root causes for poverty, including household food security, and we are looking at this very carefully as well in the light of the national minimum wage.
Lord Kinnock (Lab): [extract] Does the Minister share my wry satisfaction at the fact that when I first proposed the national minimum wage as policy, I was roundly condemned by Conservatives yet now we have a Chancellor of the Exchequer who says that he aspires to increase it? Should not the Government take up the suggestion of the right reverend Prelate and begin to replace the national minimum wage with the living wage…
More information on the Living Wage Commission, chaired by the Archbishop of York, can be found here.