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Volume 79: debated on Thursday 16 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will set out the number of workers in England and Scotland who now earn less than the Council of Europe's decency thresholds on the same basis as his answer of 13 May, Official Report, columns 5–6

The new earnings survey indicates that in April 1984 about 25 per cent. of full-time adult employees in England and 30 per cent. of full-time adult employees in Scotland had gross weekly earnings for a full week of less than £108·30; the latter figure corresponding to 68 per cent. of the national average for all full-time adult employees. Although an advisory committee of the Council of Europe has suggested the figure of 68 per cent. of national full-time adult average earnings as significant in considering low pay, the figure has not been accepted or recognised by the United Kingdom or any other European country.