Firms push for job rules reform

Julian Harris
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RADICAL reforms must be introduced if the private sector is to grow the UK out of recession, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) will say today.

The minimum wage must be reduced for young people, and all new employment regulations scrapped, the BCC is expected to state.

“If the government provides a radical framework, business will do what it does best – creating wealth and jobs, innovating to deliver strong companies and providing the much needed growth for this country,” said the BCC’s David Frost.

Youth unemployment, which has risen sharply due to the recession, could be tackled by cutting the youth minimum wage, the BCC said.

“The minimum wage is no use to you if you’re out of work – like nearly a million young people,” agreed Eamonn Butler of the Adam Smith Institute, a Westminster think tank.

“Many employers today, squeezed by high taxes and low demand, simply cannot afford to hire young, unskilled, inexperienced kids at minimum wage rates,” Butler said.

The BCC will also call for tax incentives to motivate companies to take on young people.

Additionally, the BCC wants to see the creation of targeted “opportunity zones” across the UK, to provide “businesses with tax breaks and the total relaxation of planning laws.”

On capital allowances, the BCC is concerned that smaller firms may miss out on the government’s reduction in corporation tax.

“Businesses should be able to carry forward unused relief, thereby helping them to make the choice to invest in new plants and grow their operations,” the BCC said.