Does anybody remember when Dyson was a success story to make the UK proud?
Now the founder of the vacuum cleaner company, James Dyson, is pushing for the minority Tory government to end workers’ rights – making it easier to fire employees – and to abolish Corporation Tax so he can make more money out of them.
He told Andrew Marr: “Not being able to flex your workforce is another reason why you wouldn’t start or expand a manufacturing business.” He means he wants to be able to get rid of good workers without good reason – and there is no argument for it. UK manufacturing used to be the strongest in the world, based on a stable base of workers at each firm.
On Corporation Tax, he said: “A tax on profits is the wrong way to tax people. Corporation tax is a very odd thing because there’s ways to get around paying it. You shouldn’t really be taxing people’s profits, you should allow profits to be reinvested. And also, if you remove corporation tax you encourage a lot of other industry to come to Britain.”
Yes, industry would come, because they could keep all the profits they made by ripping off the now-rightsless workers of this country, if Mr Dyson gets his way.
He’s right that taxing profits isn’t clever – we should tax businesses on their overall income. It might cut tax avoidance considerably and be a much better way to fill Treasury coffers.
The claim that the profits should be allowed to be reinvested is risible. Business owners and shareholders would have that money “reinvested” in their own bank accounts.
So Labour is right to oppose at least one of Mr Dyson’s demands by forcing a Commons vote to protect workers’ rights.
According to the Daily Mirror:
Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer fears the Tories plan to water down paid holidays and EU rules on equal wages.
The Prime Minister wants to use so-called Henry VIII powers to allow ministers to amend legislation without the approval of Parliament.
Mrs May is on record as objecting to the EU social chapter which guarantees maternity pay and stops anyone being forced to work more than 48 hours a week.
International Trade Secretary Liam Fox has said it should be easier for bosses to fire staff, and in 2012 Commons leader Andrea Leadsom said workplace rights should be scrapped for small companies.
In 2014 Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said: “The weight of EU employment regulation is back-breaking.”
Mr Starmer will demand that assurances are added to the Bill so that the same security workers enjoy now will continue after Brexit.
If Labour achieves this, it will be a great reassurance to working people across the UK. If the Tories block it, we will all have another reason to backtrack on the Brexit decision.
ADDITIONAL: Almost immediately after this article went up, John Brindle on Facebook made this very perceptive comment:
“His [Dyson’s] dream that is that wages become so low in the UK that he can ship his production back to this country without his profits being dented. He wants to pay people a pittance so that they depend for their survival on a state to which he does not contribute in tax. Pure greed.”
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