Firms: cut red tape to boost jobs

Tim Wallace
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A CHORUS of business groups and think-tanks yesterday called for a raft of supply side measures to boost the economy and cut unemployment, which rose to 8.1 per cent in August.

Youth unemployment in particular shot up to 721,000 -- excluding full time students -- representing 20 per cent of 16-24 year olds.

Regulations under fire include employers’ national insurance contributions, greater parents’ rights, and compulsory pension schemes.

“The government needs to boost the private sector’s ability to create jobs, and employ those people likely to lose their jobs in the public sector,” said David Kern of the British Chambers of Commerce. “They should cut red tape and help people to acquire new skills.”

The Unlisted Companies Group called for the minimum wage to be reduced and new pension requirements to be scrapped.

“Thousands of people are excluded from the labour market as their services are priced too high,” said former Clarks boss Roger Pedder. “Many youngsters’ lives are blighted by joblessness. This will worsen as pension schemes are forced on small firms.”

Philip Booth of the Institute for Economic Affairs highlighted red tape that could be scrapped to boost jobs: “Burdens include: an extension of the minimum wage; increased maternity rights; compulsory pensions; and the temporary workers’ directive.”