Your leader 'Just the job, Mr Delors' tells us that the average working week for full- time employees in Britain is by far the highest in Europe, at 43.7 hours. This is 5.7 hours, ie one seventh of a week's work, above a reasonable norm of 38 hours. Taking the full-time work force at 21 million, current overtime working is equivalent to 3 million full-time jobs, which is about the number of those registered unemployed.
Economists forget that Britain is a country and a society, not purely a money-making business. Tax and social security costs in Britain, as in some other countries of Europe, are high because so many of our fellow citizens are deprived, by unemployment, of the means from which to contribute.
Measures such as reducing the impact of tax and unemployment insurance on big businesses and higher wage-earners do not 'make a good deal of sense' if they load the burden of maintaining a civilised society disproportionately on to the disadvantaged groups of the nation's citizens. Such action over the last 14 years has pushed up crime and social distress in Britain to unprecedented levels.