George doesn’t get it.

Following reading this article I feel I must question the logic of George Osborne and his determination to hit ordinary working people. I’ll comment on the worst aspects which will be in italics.

“Businesses will be allowed to remove “gold-plated employment rights” in exchange for handing out shares to employees which will be exempt from tax, George Osborne has said.”

I wouldn’t call employment rights “gold plated” this implies that they give workers more than they deserve and should be reduced as much as possible. This is wrong our employment rights mean we have the right to challenge when our employers wrong us and that works to “put off” unscrupulous bosses. Exchanging employment rights for shares in a company won’t work. It should be an absolute right to challenge when your employer wrongs you and shares which could be worth very little are no comparison to laid down legislation which protects you at work.

The chancellor’s plan would allow businesses hiring staff to insist they forfeit employment rights in two broad areas in exchange for the shares, which would be exempt from capital-gains tax. Existing employees would have the right to refuse.
Employees would:
• Give up their rights under UK law on unfair dismissal, redundancy and the right to request flexible working and time off for training.
• Women would have to give twice as much notice of the date when they want to return from maternity leave. Women currently have to give eight weeks, but this would increase to 16.

The language used here is concerning “insist” meaning only those who would be willing to give up employment rights would be offered employment. This is a dangerous path and is surely nothing but an excuse to erode working conditions.

Then there are the aspects of employment rights that they would seek to erode, unfair dismissal – where you lose your job and it is found to be unfair, redundancy – that safety net when your employer has to make cutbacks, the right to request flexible working – where workers reduce their hours or adopt flexi time to care for relatives or their families and finally, time off for training – meaning that workers would end up unable to progress as they would lack that vital on the job training.

These measures don’t appear to achieve anything other than keeping working people in their place. It’s wrong and I hope there is a famous government u-turn on this.

Another cracking line from this article was

He said he wanted the Conservatives to be a one-nation party that speaks for the corner-shop owner, the teacher, the commuter and pensioner. “They are all part of one nation – one nation working together to get on.

The Tories are clearly rattled by Ed’s one nation and are trying to claim it back as their own. Yet can the tories be a one nation party when they do nothing but seek to widen the social divides in out country? I think not.


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