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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Sainsbury of Turville): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment Relations, Competition and Consumers, Gerry Sutcliffe, has made the following Statement.
The Government have placed in the Libraries of the House the latest tables showing the estimated number of workers who have benefited directly from the national minimum wage between its introduction and the next uprating in October 2004. Members of Parliament wishing to know the number of beneficiaries in each area of the UK over this period are advised to consult this information. The information can also be found on the Department of Trade and Industry's website at www.dti.gov.uk/er/emar. The information will be updated
26 May 2004 : Column WS57
every six months to take account of future increases to minimum wage rates and the release of new data from the Office for National Statistics.
|Yorkshire and Humberside||180,000210,000|
Note: These data are based on 10p pay bands from the ONS central estimates and take account of earnings and prices inflation between the period Spring 2003 and October 2004; uprating from £3.80 to £4.10 for 1821 year olds and from £4.50 to £4.85 for those 22 and over.
I am today publishing a consultation document, Company Law: Flexibility and Accessibility, containing proposals designed to help ensure that company law remains up to date in future, and to make it clearer and more easily accessible in particular for smaller firms.
The proposals are for the introduction of new types of legislative power enabling company law in future to be amended by a special form of secondary legislation, making it easier to keep the legislation updated over time. The powers would also be used to rewrite relevant parts of the law to make it simpler to understand for all its users, particularly smaller firms and their advisers.
The use of the powers would be governed by stringent requirements for public consultation and for parliamentary scrutiny, and by criteria which would ensure that the needs of smaller users were at the heart of any reform proposals. Over time, I would look forward to being able to bring all the key operational provisions relating to smaller private companies together, clearly and logically, in one place.
The powers would be introduced as part of the major new Companies Bill which we are preparing for introduction as soon as parliamentary time allows. The Bill will implement the work of the independent company law review, which provided an authoritative assessment of the guiding principles for future reform, and my proposals proceed very much in that spirit.
The consultation period will close on 24 September 2004 to allow full time for consideration of these important proposals, and I have placed copies of the consultation document in the Libraries of both Houses.
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