To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how much his Department allocated to HM Revenue and Customs for the purpose of prosecuting employers who failed to pay the minimum wage in each financial year since 2005; and what the projected budget is for such activities in each financial year until 2020.
13 January 2016
Funding for National Minimum Wage (NMW) prosecutions is not fixed and comes out of the overall HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) enforcement budget, allocated by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The overall budget for 2015/16 is £13.2m, a £4m increase on 2014/15. Table 1 sets out the enforcement budget for each year since 2005/06.
The Government is committed to simple, effective NMW enforcement which supports workers and businesses by deterring non-compliant employers from underpaying their workers and removing the unfair competitive advantage that underpayment can bring. For this reason the Government increased HMRC’s 2015/16 enforcement budget by £4 million in 2015/16, and will further increase the enforcement budget from April 2016. A proportion of this budget will be used to establish a new team of compliance officers in HMRC to investigate the most serious cases of employers not paying the NMW and, from April, the National Living Wage. The team will have the power to use all available sanctions, including penalties and criminal investigation.
No decision has been taken on the enforcement budget until 2020.
Table 1: HMRC NMW enforcement budget
HMRC Enforcement Budget (millions)