Page last updated at 16:54 GMT, Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Westminster Hall

Labour MP Teresa Pearce led a debate on the introduction of a living wage.

On 9 January 2013, MPs discussed the idea of making it compulsory for employers to pay a living wage.

The national minimum wage (NMW) was introduced in 1998 by the then Labour government.

The minimum wage is compulsory and is set by the Low Pay Commission at the level the market will bear as well as by negotiations between employers, unions and government.

The living wage is voluntary. It uses the minimum income standard, which identifies minimum costs including, for instance, cost of rent, childcare and council tax, decided by a survey of some members of the public.

Labour Leader Ed Miliband gave a speech in November promising his party would "work to deliver" a living wage.

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