Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Labour have been decrying every Government policy the Coalition have produced, with little positive to put forward in the way of alternatives - I've mentioned this a couple of times. The Employers' Charter is no different in that respect. Coming out in opposition to this planned legislation, The Other Miliband recently held a press conference stating "the first thing Mr Cameron should be addressing at his meeting today is the risk of a lost generation of young people in this country." A bold call. Rather like suggesting the Coalition should busy themselves with fixing the financial mess the country is in, he does rather run the risk of someone pointing out why there was a problem in the first place. A "lost generation", well how long is a generation these days? I reckon 13 years isn't too wide of the mark. That number seem familiar?
Now I am also not surprised that Miniband is toeing the same line as the Trade Unions, who are naturally screaming blue murder and threatening strikes (do they do anything else?). After all, they own him, having put him into post ahead of his far more popular and politically astute brother thanks to the bizarre voting system Labour have. He, therefore, has to oppose any measure which might make employing people less of a burden and so help ease Britain out of the recession Labour helped it into. Why? - because as sensible as it may sound to a level-headed person, that measure is 'an attack on the working classes' as I am sure we shall be told. Again and again.
The other front bencher has it seems taken up the reins of the Harriet Harman Girl Power Chariot. You know the one - it careers all over the place supposedly championing women but ultimately doing them no favours at all by the utterly bonkers arguments behind all of its utterings. Yvette Cooper-Balls has suggested that women will likely be hit hardest by the Employers' Charter because of their shorter than average employment. She rattles on "the Government is already hitting women the hardest in their pockets through cuts in child benefit and child tax credit. Now these plans look likely to hit hardest at women's jobs, because women are more likely to be in shorter term employment."
The bit she's talking about is the extension from 1 to 2 years employment for an employee to be able to claim wrongful dismissal and the introduction of fees for bringing claims to court under said charge. Theses are not drastic measures, but designed to stop the relentless weight of spurious litigation from shoddy short term employees. Ask employers if they think this is right. Ask business. In fact, ask the majority of dutiful and normal workers. Their wages are lower because their companies have to find the funds to either fight these people or pay them off.
Yvette's statement is utter balderdash for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Yvette has fallen into the same trap as her predecessor in supposing that if any one part of society loses out thanks to a particular policy, that policy must have targeted them and be totally unfair. It is co-incidental that women are in shorter term employment, this however is a policy that has nothing to do with women. It has everything to do with relieving pressures on the private sector - the only thing that can save us from a sovereign debt crisis. As I have blogged before (here), we all know the scales have tipped too far in the direction of employees.
Secondly, apparently cutting child benefit and child tax credit is an attack on women. That seems a little odd to me. I would have thought, the clue being in the title, that both benefits were targeted at funding children, not women. So I would naturally assume the only people you could say a cut in those benefits would affect would be children, or perhaps families if we extended it a little. You might be forgiven for thinking that Ms Cooper-Balls is suggesting having children gives women money, either that or I have totally misunderstood the principles behind the creation of those benefits. Now no Labour Government would ever have a policy like that would they?