‘It is ironic that the only people without the freedom to take a pay cut are those on or just above the minimum wage. How can that be fair?’
– Tory MP, Christopher Chope
It appears that the Conservatives are so confident of victory at the next general election they are already introducing legislation to take us back to the 1980s, with a mischievously named Employment Opportunities Bill.
The main opportunity it offers is to work for less than the minimum wage. It is simply unfair, claims Christopher Chope MP, that people earning no more than £5.73 an hour have had to sit by as their higher earning colleagues have taken pay cuts. Chope reckons that many of these people would like to show solidarity with their fellow workers by taking a pay cut of their own. But the draconian Labour government won’t let them.
The other opportunity is for asylum seekers, who would be given the right to work. It will be interesting to see how this provision, which is worth supporting (although it would be far better to speed up the system so asylum applications are dealt with before would-be refugees have a chance to settle), plays with Tory supporters.
Labour really needs to get its act together and give Chope every opportunity to promote his Employment Opportunities Bill. Voters deserve to know a lot more about the opportunities a Tory government would open up for them.