Paul Uppal (Wolverhampton South West, Conservative):While I'm at it, Mr Uppal claimed last week that removing rights from workers in exchange for a few shares would transform employees into 'employers', referencing his own business experience. However, Mr Uppal is very reluctant to discuss what his company does and how it works. From what I can tell, Pinehurst Securities is enmeshed with his family, employs very few people and is merely a property speculation company. Are his unrelated employees shareholders?
On the issue of fact and fiction, I respectfully say to the hon. Gentleman that this comes in the context of a week when the shadow Chancellor, directly answering the question of whether Labour spent too much, said, “No, I don’t think we did.” That is not fiction; that is fact. This debate comes in that context.
Christopher Leslie (Nottingham East, Labour):
The hon. Gentleman seems to think that the problems of the global financial crisis were caused by too many police officers, nurses, teachers, hospitals, new schools… I am only trying to answer the question, Mr Amess. I am trying to be as helpful as possible to the new guru of No. 10’s policy unit. I envisage him sitting at the table there with many of the new fresh-faced Members as they produce detailed papers that are then ignored by the Prime Minister weeks later. I wish the hon. Gentleman luck. I hope he has some influence in that new august body and that when the reshuffle comes he does as well as the Minister assumes he will.
If he's so keen to enfold employees into the corporate structure, why does he require them to give up their health and safety protection, right not to be discriminated against and so on before British workers are permitted to rise above the status of wage slave?
The truth is that this is a scam. It's another way of degrading working conditions for the poor, while providing a massive tax-avoidance loophole for the rich. Imagine you're signing on at a high level for a bank. You sign away your employment rights in exchange for a massive chunk of tax-free shares. You know that you don't need statutory protection: you can afford high-powered lawyers if working life takes a turn for the worse. Meanwhile your employers have found a way to pay you £50,000 without troubling the HMRC. Win-win. Unless you're one of the minimum wage drones Mr Uppal thinks are wrecking the economy.