Ministers should not be using cover of flimsy growth strategy to strip away rights of workers

Ed Balls MP, Labour’s shadow chancellor, said in response to reports tonight that the government is preparing to announce plans that will see employees in small businesses exempt from rights to maternity and paternity leave:

“If this is George Osborne’s growth strategy then he’s in greater denial about the state of the economy than I feared.

“It’s nonsense to suggest that the balanced measures Labour took in government to help parents juggle work and family life are what’s stopping our economy growing. It isn’t working parents who are holding our economy back. What’s holding back the recovery is the Tory VAT rise and cuts which go too deep and too fast, are damaging business and consumer confidence and costing hundreds of thousands of jobs in the public and private sector.

“Governments always have to be vigilant and everyone should want to bear down on unnecessary or badly-designed regulation where they can. But the government’s plans will cost jobs if firms with 11 or 12 people decide to downsize to take advantage and it will make it harder for mums and dads to go out to work.

“Ministers should not be using the cover of a flimsy growth strategy to strip away the rights of millions of workers. They need to think this one through again and come up with a credible plan to get the economy growing strongly and unemployment falling again.”

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Posted March 12th, 2011 by Ed's team

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