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‘Fire at will’ employment laws a strict no for Business Secretary

Date: (10 September 2012)    |    

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Vince Cable the Business Secretary has said that his opposition to “fire at will” employment laws was there to stay and that he was going to oppose the Tory calls for no-fault sackings.
Mr Clarke also said that there should be cuts to red tape in the matter of complex immigration and tax rules rather than allowing ‘no fault dismissal’. He said also stood for increase in tax on the wealthy.
This has come when strong proponent of business Michael Fallon and Matthew Hancock were both moved into Mr Cable’s department in the cabinet reshuffle probably as an effort to restrain the senior Liberal Democrat.
Fallon told the Sunday Telegraph that he wanted Britain to "salute" wealth creation "and stop thinking of new ways to tax it", scrap 3,000 regulations and make it easier to sack underperforming staff.
Proposals for sweeping away bureaucracy are due to be published on Monday and a new industrial policy on Tuesday as the government continues efforts to kickstart its programme.
Cable told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show that he considered Fallon a "very, very able and experienced politician" with whom he could work as well as he had other Conservative colleagues.
He added that working with intelligent people with strong views made politics more interesting and he said he hoped to work well with the new team.
But he made clear that he held strong views in areas that could put him on a collision course with the new team. When asked about Fallon's promised doing away with regulations, he said it would only happen if it could be done "in a rational way" and without badly downgrading protection for employees and the environment. He also suggested that the main focus should be on immigration and tax.
Cable said that Fallon was not responsible for the Beecroft report’s recommendation of no-fault dismissal system commissioned by David Cameron. It was important to do these things in a way which would not undermine the people’s sense of security.
Asked about Fallon’s opposition to proponents of tax on wealthy people Mr Cable said that he thought wealthy should contribute more as there was a huge wealth inequality. Support to entrepreneurs should be complimented with the need of effective wealth taxation. Cable has been a staunch supporter of ‘mansion tax’ on £2m-plus properties.
Fallon denied that he was sent into the department to "keep an eye on" Cable. He told the Sunday Telegraph that he believed in stopping the introduction of new ways of taxation.
Asked about the Beecroft proposals, he said there was no difference between Vince Cable and him on that. Reform had already started to end the perception that "getting rid of people was going to be very expensive, time-consuming for management and far too bureaucratic.