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You’ve got to hand it to Britain’s business leaders – they really know how to de-motivate the workforce and undermine the economy.
Labour’s John McDonnell announced a policy that would hand workers an interest in their employers’ success – and an average dividence of £500 a year – and what did the bosses do? They announced that they would do everything in their power to sabotage such a plan.
How savage. How selfish. How sickening. I heard it on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme just after 6am, as I was taking Mrs Mike and her mother to Stoke University Hospital for an operation and I nearly threw up my breakfast in disgust. Fortunately for residents of – and travellers on – the A53, I was able to hold myself in check.
Here’s Mr McDonnell explaining the new policy:
Under Labour’s Inclusive Ownership Fund, all employees of large companies will be entitled to up to £500 a year and we'll introduce a social dividend to fund our schools, hospitals or social security. #Lab18 pic.twitter.com/wgAwM5qpvu
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) September 24, 2018
And what did business bosses have to say about that? The Financial Times provides us with a few answers:
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI director-general, said Labour’s “diktat on employee share ownership will only encourage investors to pack their bags and will harm those who can least afford it. If investment falls, so does productivity and pay.”
Stephen Martin, director-general of the Institute of Directors, argued that the policy could cause wide-reaching damage to the UK economy. “To effectively force companies to transfer 10 per cent of company ownership from existing shareholders to employees is far too draconian,” he said. “It could have a negative effect on business investment and business formation in the UK, and undermine the functioning of UK capital markets.”
Draconian, did he say? Isn’t it more draconian to force poor wage settlements on employees in order to take an ever-larger, undeserved, share of profits? Isn’t it more draconian to deny the people who actually create those profits even the smallest say in how their company should be run? I think it is.
On the Today programme, some pundit claimed the policy would be a bonanza for employment lawyers who would be hired to find ways to prevent firms from having to pay workers a single bean.
That is the attitude of business leaders in Conservative Britain: “Never mind you, Jack – I’m all right!”
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