There are strings of issues I have a huge problem with but two stick out by a blind mile. The first is Ms Harman’s policy of all-women shortlists to ensure that they have more women in parliament. She claims anyone who is against this supports inequality. What a load of….
This enforced single-gender short list is inequality in itself. How many good male candidates will get excluded because they are male? How many 2nd rate women will slip in simply because they are female?
I am opposed to enforced gender quotas in the boardroom. I am all for a healthy mixture but it is hard enough for businesses to find the right staff without narrowing the field. I also find enforced schemes are actually insulting to women, large numbers of whom would prefer to get their on their own steam rather than a shoe in based on their being female.
Ms Harman’s version of this is extreme – and scary. If such things are totally enforced by a parliamentary party, we can be very sure they will be broadened to businesses shortly afterwards.
Mr Balls has hung his hat on the political potato of the minimum wage, offering an enticing rate of £8.00 by 2020, an increase of more than 22 per cent on the current minimum.
Now I don’t doubt that voters in their millions who are paid less than £8.00 per hour at the moment are going to flock to Mr Balls’ ballot boxes. Indeed, I am sure he will successfully fan the flames of the already red hot hatred that runs within parts of the country for the rich and the business owners.
He does not tell the rest of the tale. He does not say that a 22 per cent rise in the wage bill will have knock on effects – and firstly it will be a rise in the wage bill. Don’t for one moment think that everyone currently on £8.00 an hour will suddenly be happy to be considered worth the same as those previously on £6.50. So the rises will knock on right up the layers.
For many companies, a 22 per cent rise in wages would mean hiking up their prices by 22 per cent. Then of course we have 22 per cent inflation following fast behind and two seconds later, everything those people on £6.50 used to buy are costing the same amount more, so actually they are no better off at all.
For other businesses, that 22 per cent increase will simply put them out of business. And what will that mean? A huge, growing dole queue caused yet again by a Labour government.
So much for the people’s party. A budget designed to deceive and mislead the very people it claims to represent.
Jan Cavelle is founder of the Jan Cavelle Furniture Company
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