Local businesses and town centres

Mike Wood: Understandably, several concerns have been expressed about the impact that any changes might have, particularly on people on lower incomes who might have served in a job for many years before being made redundant. Can the Minister explain how the £30,000 threshold compares with the maximum available from statutory redundancy pay, and who might be captured by the measure?

 

Robert Jenrick The Exchequer Secretary

 Chris Stephens Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment)

This is my first statutory instrument debate in the Chamber, and it is a pleasure to see you in the Chair, Mr Deputy Speaker. It is also a pleasure to follow Gillian Keegan.

The shadow Minister refers to small increases in the minimum wage. An increase of 38p in the national minimum wage is now being introduced. Can she tell the House in how many of the 10 years after the introduction of the national minimum wage the Labour Government made a bigger increase than the 38p that workers will see under this increase?

 

Chi Onwurah (Shadow Minister (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Industrial Strategy))

When businesses are repeatedly found to have breached national minimum wage regulations, will the Minister ensure that HMRC proactively investigates other cases of staff employed on similar terms and with similar contracts, rather than requiring each employee to demonstrate separately that he or she has been underpaid?

 

Kelly Tolhurst (Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy))

Mike Wood: I know my right hon. and learned Friend will not be tempted into offering legal advice on the Floor of the House, but what protection might be available to consumers and businesses who entered a contract on the basis of free calls, texts and data while roaming if operators are tempted to change the terms of those contracts mid-term?

 

Jeremy Wright The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

This Bill is important not only in protecting motorists; it is vital to the vitality of our town centres. People who are afraid of high, arbitrary parking penalties do not come into town centres and so do not support local traders, and our high streets miss out. Parking providers have privileged access to DVLA records in order to enforce these charges.

Mike Wood: Reductions in business rates will help thousands of small and medium-sized shops, restaurants and pubs in our town centres. Will the Prime Minister commit to continuing to work for fundamental reform of local business taxation so that local shops and businesses of all sorts can compete fairly with the online giants?

 

Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Mike Wood: Reductions in business rates will help thousands of small and medium-sized shops, restaurants and pubs in our town centres. Will the Prime Minister commit to continuing to work for fundamental reform of local business taxation so that local shops and businesses of all sorts can compete fairly with the online giants?

 

Theresa May The Prime Minister, Leader of the Conservative Party

Mike Wood: As well as the world’s best beer, one of the things that brings people into our pubs is live music. What assessment has the Minister made of the importance of the music industry’s contribution to our economic and cultural health?

 

Margot James The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Mike Wood: Mandatory reporting requirements are an important step in eliminating the gender pay gap, but does my hon. Friend agree that it will be key for shareholders and customers, as well as employees, to hold businesses to account on those reports?

 

Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women

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