Owen Smith MP, Labour's Shadow Treasury Minister, responding to reports that George Osborne is urging people to support proposals to make it easier for firms with fewer than 10 employees to lay off staff, said:
“With unemployment at a 16 year high, the Government should be making it easier for small businesses to hire people, rather than easier to fire people.
“As part of our five point plan for jobs and growth Labour is calling for a one year national insurance holiday for all small firms taking on extra workers. This could be paid for by using the almost £1 billion of unspent funds from the Chancellor’s failed national insurance holiday for new firms. Rather than attacking the rights of people in work, this is the sort of practical policy we need to help businesses grow and create jobs.
“The slower growth and higher unemployment this Government’s reckless policies have delivered mean £158 billion of extra borrowing to pay for economic failure. That is why we desperately need a proper plan for jobs and growth in this month’s Budget. It’s time this complacent and out of touch Chancellor listened and changed course.”