Companies reject Osborne’s foolish plan to trade rights


11:02 pm - December 4th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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When it was first mooted by George Osborne, right-wingers hailed it as “bold” and “brilliant”. The Telegraph was orgasmic.

The Chancellor wanted to unveil a plan to offer workers company shares in return for abandoning many of their employment rights.

But of course, he didn’t even bother asking companies if they liked the idea. It turns out not many did.

It was one of the centrepieces of Osborne’s speech at the party conference in October but a government consultation has revealed his proposal has won the full support of fewer than five of the 209 organisations that responded.

The report of a 33-week consultation undertaken by the business department on his proposal states “a very small number of responses welcomed the scheme and suggested they would be interested in taking it up”.

The Telegraph admits that even workers themselves weren’t that enthused.

Mr Osborne’s aides said they expected hundreds of thousands of employees to sign up within the next few years, at a cost to the Treasury of about £100million a year.

However the consultation from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills found “strong concern that individuals were losing important employment protections and that they might be coerced to take on employee owner status.

Well that was a surprise!

The Telegraph admits sheepishly that the responses “appear to back up concerns” from Vince Cable that they were “ill-thought out with no real evidence base”.

George Osborne plans to go ahead with the scheme anyway. Which sort of sums up his entire approach.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Quite. More back-of-a-fag-packet policies. Lets see, Big Society, Localism, now shares for rights. Ho hum! Still, beats work, doesn’t it?

“George Osborne plans to go ahead with the scheme anyway. Which sort of sums up his entire approach.”

Of course. If the best available evidence tells you that reality is failing to conform to right-wing dogma, then the best available evidence must be wrong. The scheme will work just as surely as expansionary fiscal contraction will kick in any time now.

One definition of stupidity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again, while expecting different results the next time. See also: whatever brainfart Gideon comes out with today about more austerity being necessary, since it’s working so well so far. @Cherub, Gideon and Call-Me-Dave don’t actually know what work is, that’s for us plebs ;-)

Although I am a shareholder in the company I work for, it is a perk on top of full employee rights – including union membership. No way would I do it as a either/or!


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Louise Norton

    How odd. All those right-wingers who hailed Osborne's "bold" plan to trade employee rights for shares now very silent http://t.co/vyIpaIQm

  2. Eva Fairlie

    How odd. All those right-wingers who hailed Osborne's "bold" plan to trade employee rights for shares now very silent http://t.co/vyIpaIQm

  3. Lee Griffin

    Companies reject Osborne’s foolish plan to trade rights | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/l4QpFvVg via @libcon

  4. Colin-Roy Hunter

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  5. Nick H.

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  6. Ronnie Brown

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  7. Stephe Meloy

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  8. Labour's BIS team

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  9. Finn McCann

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  10. Colin-Roy Hunter

    Further comment on Gidiot. Companies reject Osborne’s foolish plan to trade rights | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/lCiCiw0v via @libcon

  11. Sarah Brown

    How odd. All those right-wingers who hailed Osborne's "bold" plan to trade employee rights for shares now very silent http://t.co/vyIpaIQm

  12. Ken Rice

    Companies reject Osborne’s foolish plan to trade rights | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Pppt02VK via @libcon

  13. Andy Buckley

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  14. Sunny Hundal

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  15. Bernadette Horton

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  16. AC

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  17. Vicky Smith

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  18. Tony Hatfield

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  19. Paul Anders

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  20. AC

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  21. KATE BUTLER

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  30. Natacha Kennedy

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  31. Tom Serpell

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  32. Chris McGrath

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  33. LadyRoisin

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