IoS letters, emails & online postings (12 January 2014)

Share

Ed Miliband's proposal to interfere in Britain's labour market is deceptive and dangerous ("We're too reliant on low-wage labour", 5 January).

The thrust of his suggestion is that Britain should sign up fully to the European Union's Agency Workers Directive. He assumes this would create highly-paid jobs for British workers. In truth it would mean fewer jobs all round and a handbrake jammed on our economic recovery.

A flexible and responsive labour market is one of the reasons that we have seen 1.4 million jobs created since May 2010. Imposing the Agency Workers Directive on business, especially small enterprises and seasonal industries, would stop plans for growth and recruitment. A quarter of UK businesses use agency workers and, under Mr Miliband's plans, a typical small enterprise would have to pay an extra £2,493 a year.

Since the 2008 directive, the EU's European vacancy monitor has shown a collapse in temporary posts in those countries that adopted it. In France, Germany and the Netherlands, substantial growth in temporary vacancies turned into a fall of one-fifth. In France, vacancies in leading temporary-work agency Randstad fell by more than 20 per cent over two months.

Mr Miliband would take us down the same road for the sake of a quick headline and a wish to appear tough on immigrants.

Anthea McIntyre, MEP

Conservative employment spokesman

Ross-on-Wye

What "skills" is Ed Miliband talking about? The last Labour government aimed to push 50 per cent of the workforce through university and increased spending on secondary education by a huge amount. The result is that there is both under-employment and a skill shortage. Doesn't this suggest that governments are incompetent at gauging the demands of the labour market?

James Paton

Billericay, Essex

Ed Miliband continues to repeat myths that immigration is a key factor in bringing down standards of living. Have migrants caused the housing bubble that creates sky-high rents and prices out all but the most well-off? Are they responsible for the devastating effects of the government's austerity policies?

There are millions of us who feel migrants have made a phenomenal contribution to this country, and we are all the worse for the toxic rhetoric and anti-immigrant policies that we see from successive governments.

With the three largest parties manoeuvring to occupy Farage's anti-immigrant bunker who is going to be left in the fresh air untainted by this dangerous and divisive electoral game?

Jim Jepps

London NW1

I too felt saddened at the story of Father Joseph Williams whose body was found in his car in a supermarket carpark (Janet Street-Porter, 5 January).

But, while I would not wish to deny Janet the opportunity of slagging off the Anglican Church, I understand that Fr Joseph was a Roman Catholic, as is the Bishop (not Archbishop) of Northampton. Neither of them are Anglicans, "namby pamby" or not.

Roger Clarke

Perranarworthal, Truro

Noel Howard-Jones is correct in saying that he had no contact with Anthony Summers concerning Stephen Ward (Letters 29 December). However, as the co-author I did receive a letter in 1987 from Mr Howard-Jones declining to be interviewed. The communication was noted in the 1989 edition of our book, Honeytrap, on page 331.

Stephen Dorril

Holmfirth, West Yorkshire

I enjoyed DJ Taylor's article about Top of the Pops (5 January). It was a shame therefore that the photo was printed back-to-front, showing the band Slade as being totally left handed.

Peter Henderson

Worthing, West Sussex

Every year is like 1914 somewhere (5 January). We must accept grievances will continue and choose our interventions carefully, rather than fall for that other historical truth beloved by politicians which equates non-intervention in any situation as comparable to the appeasement of Hitler's ambitions.

Ian McKenzie

Lincoln

Have your say

Letters to the Editor, The Independent on Sunday, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5HF. Email: sundayletters@independent.co.uk. Online: independent.co.uk/dayinapage/2014/January/12

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Manager

£32000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Manager is required ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Panel & Cabinet Wireman

£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Panel Wireman required for small electro...

Recruitment Genius: Electronics Test Engineer

£25000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An SME based in East Cheshire, ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Newspaper stands have been criticised by the Child Eyes campaign  

There were more reader complaints this year – but, then again, there were more readers

Will Gore
 

People drink to shut out pain and stress. Arresting them won’t help

Deborah Coughlin
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?