Maybe you’ve recently had a leaflet through your door carrying the Lib Dem claim that they are creating a ‘Stronger Economy, Fairer Society’?
The facts say otherwise.
The truth about employment – and zero hours contracts – is just one reason to reject that claim.
On this website we’ve shown that the coalition government’s employment/unemployment figures hide the facts of employment; they do not show those who are false-self employed, or on part-time hours and zero-hour contracts.
Now we can claim with confidence that when it comes to zero-hour contracts we were right to be sceptical. Here’s why.
First of all the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said they didn’t know how many people were employed on zero-hours contracts.
Then, a few months back they thought there might be 200,000 or possibly more; they couldn’t be sure.
They can now!
On 30th April 2014, the ONS said that based on their own survey of 5,000 businesses in January to February 2014, “…. there were around 1.4 million employee contracts that do not guarantee a minimum number of hours, which provided work in the survey reference period of the fortnight beginning 20 January 2014.”
Employing definitions of zero-hours contracts provided by the ONS and the Government it is now possible to state confidently that 1,400,000 individuals are employed on zero-hours contracts.
Remember, every one of the individuals employed on these contracts – whether or not they work for four hours each week or fourteen hours or twenty four hours each week – they are all counted as employed.
They do not count as unemployed which goes some way to explain why the unemployment figures are ‘surprisingly good’!
Chuka Umunna, Labour’s shadow business secretary, described the figures as “shocking”.
He went on to say, “It is a staggering illustration of the cost-of-living crisis under this Tory-led government and a reminder that David Cameron and George Osborne are failing to deliver a balanced recovery that works for all.
“Labour is clear that we will outlaw zero-hours contracts where they exploit people, ensuring that people at work are protected and get a fair deal. It’s time the Tory-led government matched our plans.”
So when Greg Mulholland, Lib Dem MP for Leeds NW, says that his party is building a stronger economy and a fairer society we should treat his claim not with a pinch of salt – we’ll need a least a ten-ton lorry load.
Britain Can Be Better Than This
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