To ask the President of the Board of Trade if she will make a statement on the progress made by the Low Pay Commission; and if it will publish an interim report. 
The Low Pay Commission is well advanced on its programme of consultation to obtain views of employers, employees and other interested organisations and individuals on the National Minimum Wage through written evidence and by holding meetings. It has already visited Scotland and Northern Ireland. It will be visiting the North-East in early December and the other English regions and Wales in the near future. The Government have asked the Commission to produce its recommendations by the end of May 1998 and there are no plans for it to publish an interim report.