On 19th October 2015 Lord Haskel asked Her Majesty’s Government “what assessment they have made of the financial impact on British business of the new minimum wage when it comes into effect in 2016.” The Bishop of St Albans, Rt Revd Alan Smith, asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, while welcoming the Government’s moves to look at the level of wages as the Minister has mentioned in terms of the minimum living wage, I am aware that the Resolution Foundation is concerned about very small businesses—those that employ fewer than 10 people. Its research indicates that this is likely to add roughly 1.5% to wage bills. What are Her Majesty’s Government doing to mitigate those effects—for example, by cutting red tape and by offering extra assistance to boost productivity—so that we can look forward with confidence to the Government’s wishes being delivered?
The Earl of Courtown: My Lords, we are continuing to look at all matters that affect small and medium-sized enterprises. As I understand the current situation, national insurance contributions are being cut for those that employ four people or fewer.