Scots union slams UK Government after revelations of failing minimum wage enforcement

HMRC suffering 83 vacancies in minimum wage enforcement

THE UNION that organises Scottish public service workers has lashed out against the UK Government over revelations of a substantial number of unfilled vacancies in minimum wage enforcement.

Around 200,000 workers are thought to be paid less than the minimum wage across the UK. But under questioning from the SNP MP Chris Stephens, who is also the parliamentary chair for the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, UK treasury minister Jane Ellison admitted there were 83 vacancies in HMRC’s national minimum wage inspection team.

Quoted in the Sunday Herald Lynn Henderson, the Scottish national officer of the PCS union, said: “HMRC's treatment of skilled workers who have been left in limbo over this latest fiasco is nothing short of a disgrace. Whilst this continues, there are taxes being left uncollected and bad employers being let off the hook.

“Not content with their plans to shut 90 per cent of tax offices across the UK, HMRC is proving once again that management is either incompetent or inimical.”

Not a single prosecution for companies that pay under minimum wage

Wages will be a significant issue in the 2017 General Election, as average real wages have fallen by 10.4 per cent since 2007 according to the TUC.

The UK is the only major economy in Europe to see a continued fall in worker’s incomes during the recovery from the 2008 crisis.

At the STUC conference in Aviemore today (24 April) UK Labour leader pledged to increase the minimum wage to £10 – a move that would lift the income of at least 200,000 workers.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned of a double hit from increased austerity and hard Brexit with an emboldened Conservative party.

Responding to the criticism, HMRC claimed they had recovered £10.3m in underpaid wages for workers.

Besides Brexit: The 5 key issues facing the electorate in #GE17

Picture courtesy of Paul Buxton

Check out what people are saying about how important CommonSpace is: Pledge your support today.

CommonSpace journalism is completely free from the influence of advertisers and is only possible with your continued support. Please contribute a monthly amount towards our costs. Build the Scotland you want to live in - support our new media.