The Resolution Foundation has asked Tim Montgomerie, Frances O'Grady, David Skelton and I onto the panel for the Resolution Foundation and TUC debate on "Tackling Low Pay" on Sunday between 6-7 inside the conference zone at Exchange 6. I will be welcoming the increase in the minimum wage, making the case for a living wage and talking about what government and businesses can do to address low pay. Both Tim and Frances are outstanding speakers and there are more key players on the panel like Mary Riddell and Gavin Kelly. It will be a fascinating session.
I hope we will also be discussing the wider plans that David Skelton and I are working upon to address blue collar issues more generally. These include action on apprenticeships, education, supporting the unions and giving union members free membership of the Conservative party, if they want to. For my part I see the unions as a key player in addressing low pay. It is not simply about money, although that is fundamental. Of almost more importance is a pragmatic relationship between unions, employers and employees.
I will be 15 minutes late as I cannot fail to support the Newcastle University organised fringe next door in Exchange 4-5, starting at 5.30, where we will be examining "Wellbeing in Later Life" with Professor Tom Kirkwood CBE, from the University plus the Minister, David Willetts MP, Norma Cohen from the FT and Dr Lynne Corner. Tom's work is genuinely groundbreaking and addresses a key issue which everyone has to deal with.
Please come along