Tuesday, 5 January 2010

CIPD unveils a business manifesto for the rich

From today's Morning Star
by Lizzie Cocker

A professional management body has come under fire for demanding a freeze on the youth minimum wage and public-sector pay.

The influential Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) unleashed a string of attacks on the lowest-paid in its pre-election manifesto, which was launched on Tuesday.

It also recommended a removal of the default age of retirement and an abandonment of the 2011 employers' National Insurance increase.

The CIPD claimed that these proposals would be essential in tackling youth unemployment, which spilled over the one million mark during this recession.

But Left Economics Advisory Panel (LEAP) co-ordinator Andrew Fisher said that the current youth national minimum wage of £3.57 "is already a national disgrace and is 3p per hour less then was deemed acceptable 12 years ago for other workers."

Public-sector union Unison warned that such changes would not help the "lost generation" but fuel it.

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "This 'manifesto' will not lead to economic recovery, it will lead to the exploitation of hundreds of thousands of workers.

"It is disgraceful that young people are being targeted by the CIPD and singled out as being 'lucky enough to have jobs.'

"Vulnerable young people, who are struggling to get by on a startling rate of just £3.57 an hour, should not have to pay the price for greedy bankers' mistakes."

Mr Fisher said: "For the CIPD to come out with a manifesto focused on pay cuts for the young and public-sector workers while proposing tax cuts for business is laughable.

"It is advocating a redistribution of wealth from poor to rich.

"Its approach is economically inept. Any money saved on pay would simply go to profits for bosses and dividends to shareholders, rather than on new job creation. You can almost hear the snorting and grunting as this CIPD nonsense was written from the trough."

The government is currently carrying out a review of the default retirement age which stands at 65 and a Treasury spokesman confirmed that the CIPD's "views will be fed into that review."

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