21 July 1998
Lords throw spanner in the
minimum-wage works

THE House of Lords delivered an embarrassing defeat to the Government over the national minimum wage as peers backed moves to introduce widespread exemptions.

Conservative frontbencher Baroness Miller said the amendment would allow the Government to make exemptions according to region, industry or age if the minimum wage was found to be causing problems.

But the Government is expected to seek to overturn the amendments in the Commons. Ministers claimed the changes introduced by the Lords would undermine the Minimum Wage Bill.

The Government announced last month that the minimum wage would be fixed at £3.60 an hour for 20-year-olds and above. It lowered the proposals for younger people to £3 an hour, rising to £3.20 in June 2000.

  • Financial Times 21/07/98 page 9
  • The Times 21/07/98 page 2
  • The Independent 21/07/98 page 8
  • The Daily Telegraph 21/07/98 page 10