Fox calls for more support for business

NORTH Somerset’s MP Dr Liam Fox has called for the Government to give more support to business in its budget, which is due to be announced next month.

Writing for the Financial Times, Dr Fox has said it is currently too difficult for companies to hire and fire people and too expensive to take on new staff.

In his article he wrote: “To restore competitiveness we must begin by deregulating the labour market.

“It is intellectually unsustainable to believe that workplace rights should remain untouchable while output and employment are clearly cyclical.”

He also argued for further spending cuts to allow employment tax reductions to be introduced.

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He wrote: “Although the coalition agreement may require the chancellor to raise personal tax allowances, he should use the proceeds of spending reductions to cut employers’ national insurance contributions across the board.

“If that is deemed impossible, he should consider targeting such tax cuts on the employment of 16 to 24-year-olds, making them more attractive to employers.”

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However, Dr Fox has been criticised by the South West Trades Union Congress (TUC) for his calls to make it easier to fire workers.

South West TUC regional secretary Nigel Costley said: “At a time of rising unemployment and growing redundancies, the very idea of making it easier to sack people seems absurd.

“Economists are telling us we’re suffering a crisis of confidence, so making people feel even more insecure about their jobs is hardly going to boost consumer spending.

“Instead of attacking workers’ rights, Liam Fox and his government should concentrate on creating growth and jobs to get us out of this deepening recession caused by cuts that have been made too hard and to fast for the economy to cope with.”

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