Saturday, 6 December 2008

Anne [Begg] supports Minimum Wage change

[Disclaimer]: Aberdeen University and its blog are not connected to Anne Begg MP in an official capacity. The writers of this blog are solely responsible for its contents, and therefore this blog may not reflect the views or positions of Anne Begg MP. For Anne Begg MP's offical website please go to

Last week Laudrup posted an e-mail from Anne Begg the MP for Aberdeen South concerning leafleting today. I managed to crawl out of bed in the early hours (9 a.m.) and somehow made my way down to the meeting point without falling and breaking my neck on the nigh-invisble black ice on the roads. After having spent an hour and a half trying not fall on my arse (Whilst intermittently putting leaflets through people's doors) we made our way back to Anne's house for a very nice lunch which she very kindly put on for us.

During the leafleting I was able to enter into negotiations with a member of her staff about posting local news provided by her Constituency office to this blog. Well to cut a long story short (well actually to cut a short story even shorter) after a brief bidding war between myself and Rupert Murdoch (The BBC dropped out at £50 million) I was able to obtain media broadcast rights (i.e. I'll get an e-mail every Friday.) to what Anne Begg has been doing for her constituents each week. Hopefully this will give you an idea of what's going on in the Aberdeen area and also what a Labour MP does for their constituents.

To finish off, here's a post from Anne Begg's website concerning her stance on the minimum wage change. I think her position is correct, I don't see how it could be justified for an employee to earn less than minimum wage on the grounds that they might make it up in tips.

For those who don't remember the minimum wage was instituted by this Labour government against vociferous opposition from the tories, who opposed this amendment as well.

That's because the tories don't care about ordinary working people, they only care about business men with yearly incomes in six figures.

There's an episode of the Simpsons in which Mr Burns is at a millionaire's club. At the door there's a sign; it reads "you must have at least $1,000,000 to enter". There probably should be a sign at the tories' central office saying the same thing.

On 20th November, Anne welcomed the news that the government intends to change the current minimum wage rules on tipping so that in the future tips will not be used to top up the Minimum Wage. A government consultation started on 19th November to listen to people’s views about exactly how these new proposals would work in practice.

Anne said, "This is a matter of common sense. When you go to a restaurant or to have a hair cut and leave a tip, you expect it to go to the staff on top of their pay, not to be put through the payroll to make up the Minimum Wage.”

“I believe that the government’s announcement will benefit workers throughout Aberdeen South; people we all rely on, but who sometimes don’t have the strongest voice.”

"Rogue employers need to be exposed if they are flouting the system. Therefore, I would encourage anyone that thinks a rogue employer is not paying up to either get in touch with my office on 01224 252 704, or call the national minimum wage helpline on 0845 6000 678.”

As part of the government’s crackdown on those who try to exploit workers, tough new penalties for employers who underpay their staff have been made law under the Employment Act. This will mean that tough new penalties come into force in April, including unlimited fines for the most serious cases rather than the current maximum limit of £5,000. It will also mean a fairer way of dealing with national minimum wage arrears, calculated so workers do not lose out.
It's estimated that 1 million people in the UK currently benefit from the national minimum wage, introduced by the government in 1998. In October this year the minimum wage rates were increased to £5.73 for people aged 22 and over, £4.77 for 18- 21 year olds and £3.53 for 16-17 year olds.

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