Portillo begins new job by pledging to keep in place Labour reforms

He said: ‘Our aim will be to reassure markets that monetary decisions will not be taken for political reasons; and also to establish more clearly the independence of the Committee’s members.

‘Their appointments will be for longer. The committee will be made more accountable to Parliament. Committee appointments will be confirmed by Parliament. A Parliamentary Committee will have oversight of the MPC’s work.’Displaying a softer line on social policy he said the minimum wage was a ‘well-targeted device for the relief of poverty’.

However, worries remain that firms are paying too much to comply with minimum wage regulations.

‘We remain concerned at the compliance cost for business, and we will seek to improve its administration. We will keep a watch on future levels of the national minimum wage in case they do begin to impact on employment opportunities,’ he said.

Doors open to risk of corruption on PFI, claim Tories

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