Letters to the editor for 14 May 2013


[Re: Why micro-businesses could be Britain’s economic future, yesterday]

It seems reasonable that regulation is keeping down the numbers employed in small companies. Lots of small firms in France are sole traders because of the up-front costs of a new hire (one year’s social security payments), huge payroll taxes, the 35 hour week, and the near impossibility of firing anyone. The UK looks to be similar.

Simon Capper

Many, particularly older people, are now going down the interim consultancy route as their permanent employment. These sole traders only exist to gain assignments, and are very unlikely to hire extra staff.

Roger Black


Global welfare

[Re: Giant global economic convergence is changing the world as we know it, yesterday]

Stephane Garelli makes a persuasive case that the next 25 years will see a great global convergence of wages and living standards. I wonder what that means for our generous welfare state? Will emerging nations start redistributing a quarter of their GDP, or perhaps welfare as we know it will become impossible after emerging economies stop funding our deficits. The convergence could well lower living standards for the non-employed here in Britain. On the other hand, perhaps there are families in China where several generations have never worked in their lives?

Dan Tubb



If Co-op needs capital, it’ll have to get it by raising equity or converting debts to equity. Government isn’t giving Co-op a penny.

Division on EU referendum for Tories is on timing. For Labour it’s about whether to trust voters with a choice at all.

Now Francois Hollande wants to tax iPhones. It’s almost like he’s a plant we put there to discredit socialism.

I’m sure those who voted Ukip will be suitably chastened by Obama's endorsement of Cameron's EU position. @Birdyword