16/11/2011 07:58 GMT

Dominic Raab, Conservative MP, Suggests Suspending Minimum Wage For Young People

On the day youth unemployment hit the million mark, a Conservative MP has called for the minimum wage to be lifted to help young people gain work.

Dominic Raab said the minimum wage could be "hurting" job prospects of young people, in an article setting out ways to boost growth in the UK.

"Why not suspend the minimum wage for 16 to 21 year olds working for small businesses, in order to give them a foot on the ladder? The talented and hard-working won’t stay on the bottom rung for long, but they must first be given the chance to work."

The Esher and Walton MP also suggested loosening some employment rights to "encourage business to create more jobs overall, by reducing the risk and costs of being burdened with slack or under performing staff."

But his proposals were met with suspicion by Labour. Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts MP said they were "shocking" and "out of touch":

"The Tory-led Government should be focusing on ways to make it easier to hire people, not making it easier to sack people."

It's not the first time Raab's comments have caused controversy - he made headlines in January when he called feminists "obnoxious bigots."