Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “Fair Employment”

Tax Credits

The Government seemed to be hell-bent on two objectives:

  1. Imposing severe income cuts on those least able to accommodate such cuts
  2. A truly ghastly political car-crash

Then they seek to create a “constitutional crisis” that can only be resolved by flooding the House of Lords with Conservative Peers to push through “Gideon’s grab”.

And yet it could have been so different. Read more…

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Pay Audits and Unintended Consequences

The government is to press ahead with plans to force large firms to disclose data on the gender pay gap among staff.

A consultation on the measure – introduced in the final months of the coalition – is to begin on Tuesday.

David Cameron will say the move will “pressure” firms into boosting women’s wages, as he vows to eliminate the gender pay gap “within a generation”.
BBC News Website 14 July 2015 : David Cameron to set out plans to tackle gender pay gap

This is all very well – few would argue with “equal pay for equal work” – but may argue how you define “equal work”.

Whenever a measure is proposed it is always useful to consider (hypothetically!) how you would subvert it; usually there is an opportunity for the Law of Unintended Consequences to come into play.

A simplistic headline “gender pay gap” figure could be immensely damaging due to this law kicking in. Read more…

Subsidising Scrooge Employers

Supermarket workers paid the national minimum wage are forced to claim state benefits totalling £11bn a year, according to a charity.

Citizens UK said the employers of five million workers in the UK were being “subsidised” by the taxpayer.
BBC News Website 12 April 2015 : Supermarket workers have to claim £11bn benefits, charity says

Supermarkets may be a prime offender – but the issue is wider and needs reform. Read more…

A Programme for the Majority?

Just imagine the following programme for government:

  • Reform
    • A shake up of Westminster
    • Abolition of the House of Lords
    • A fair voting system
  • Public Services
    • No tuition fees
    • Educational Maintenance Allowance including part-time college students
    • The NHS in public hands, halting the tide of NHS privatisation
    • Abolition of prescription charges
    • Explicit protection for the NHS on the face of the TTIP agreement
  • Fairness
    • Pensions that protect our older people.
    • A decent welfare system that helps people into work
    • Eradication of working practices that have no place in a decent, modern economy
    • a Living Wage nation
    • Strengthening of the law against domestic abuse – speed up the court process, give more support to victims, and expand schemes to help offenders change their behaviour
    • Gender Equality: Removal of Systemic and institutional barriers – the pay gap, occupational segregation, a lack of affordable childcare and, sometimes, just outdated attitudes
  • Other
    • No new generation of Trident nuclear weapons
    • Deficit reduction but not slash and burn austerity
    • Stay in Europe

If we could break the internal coalitions in the old elitist parties, could we envisage a parliamentary coalition to support this programme? Read more…

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