Letters to the Editor - 22/11 - Picking winners, Board quotas, Best of Twitter

Picking winners

[Re: Government helped get my business going – now it’s boosting startups again, Wednesday]

Grant Shapps praises government startup loans. You might wonder what some other taxpayer could have done had the money been left in their hands. Started their own business? Government should not be picking winners, risking taxpayer money on enterprises that banks reject. Bureaucrats have neither the information nor the incentive to make the right decision. Shapps got lucky with corporate welfare; that’s no reason to keep such schemes in play. There are plenty of crowd-funding options that fund riskier businesses the banks won’t touch.

Andrew Bates

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Board quotas

[Re: Euro plans for female quotas moves closer, yesterday]

Critics are right to question the imposition of female board quotas. Marks Sattin research found that female representation on the boards of the Big Four accountancy firms has risen from 14 to 22 per cent since 2012. At current rate, these companies will hit the level of the EU quota by 2020 entirely through meritocracy, and without introducing mandatory female board positions. I agree that something needs to be done – but that is not the introduction of quotas. It’s that more boards should follow the example of the Big Four.

Dave Way, Marks Sattin

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BEST OF TWITTER

More economic woe for France as the composite output PMI falls to 48.5 in November.
@notayesmansecon

Merkel says measures to tackle euro crisis are bearing fruit. Must be the record high unemployment.
@minefornothing

Increasing the minimum price had no effect on alcohol-related deaths in British Columbia.
@cjsnowdon

The first piece of “green c**p” the PM should dump is the ludicrous unilateral carbon price floor.
@RyanCPS