Rebecca welcomes Minister to Castle Point as news emerges of rising wages

Rebecca Harris, Member of Parliament for Castlepoint, welcomed Guy Opperman and Denise Rossiter, Chief Executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, to Clean Green Cleaning in Benfleet to discuss the issues affecting small businesses and work place pensions.


This visit comes as the share of workers on low pay has fallen to its lowest level since 1982, showing that the Government’s plan to boost wages for the lowest paid is working. A report by the Resolution Foundation has found the number of employees that are low paid has fallen to 4.9 million, the first time that figure has dipped below 5 million since 2003, and the lowest level since 1982.


Rebecca said after the visit, “It is fantastic to welcome Guy to Castlepoint to showcase the great work that Castlepoint businesses are doing. We are working to make sure that our economy remains strong, and through our modern Industrial Strategy we will create better, higher-paying jobs for everyone.


“This was an opportunity to talk about the importance of pension saving, but also the wider problems and concerns that businesses may have. Even though the economy continues to grow and wages continue to rise it is important to listen to small firms, making it easier for them to employ people and do business.


“Clean Green are a great local employer who look after their staff. Unfortunately across the country and county, this is not always the case. It used to be the case that many workers were missing out on valuable pension benefits, because their employer didn’t offer them a pension, or they didn’t apply to join their company’s pension scheme.


“Automatic enrolment changes this. It makes it compulsory for employers to automatically enrol their eligible workers into a pension scheme. The employer must also pay money into the scheme.  This has been a great success story with nearly 9.3 million workers enrolled into pensions saving. More than 1 million employers have met their automatic enrolment duties.”