Commenting on the speech by Rt Hon Yvette Cooper MP, Labour's shadow home secretary, on 10/10/14, Atul Hatwal, director of Migration Matters, said,
"Action to tackle illegality and exploitation of migrants is to be welcomed. Companies that employ illegal migrants, practice forced labour and do not pay the minimum wage are exploiting immigrants and gaining an unfair advantage over the vast majority of law abiding businesses. Tougher measures to crack down on these bad businesses are needed and the law fully enforced,
However, we should be clear that these types of measures, while very welcome, will not have a major impact on wages, even for low skill roles. The numbers involved with employers that break the law in this way will likely be relatively small, even in individual industries, and not substantially shift overall wage levels in the market. If the problem to be tackled is low wages, then the more effective solution, one which would help all workers directly, would be to change the minimum wage."