Theresa May's new head of policy drew up plans for a lower minimum wage in poorer areas

George Freeman wrote a radical right-wing pamphlet in 2013

Jon Stone
Thursday 28 July 2016 16:24
Theresa May
Theresa May

Theresa May’s new head of policy has previously developed plans to cut employment rights and wages in poorer areas, it has emerged.

George Freeman, a Conservative MP, wrote a paper in 2013 arguing that the minimum wage and public sector pay should be “regionalised”.

The paper, ‘The Innovation Economy Industrial Policy’, which he co-wrote with fellow MP Kwasi Kwarteng, suggests reducing the minimum wage in areas where incomes are lower.

Other suggestions included halving corporation tax for big business, abolishing subsidies for green energy, and exempting corporations from paying tax or having to follow employment rights for their first three years.

It also said corporation tax should be cut to 10 per cent as a matter of course and advocating moving skilled workers from the public sector to the private sector.

The MP will now chair Ms May’s policy board – despite her suggestions that her government would help workers, rather than “the privileged few”.

Theresa May: How her leadership speech differed from her voting record

"By maintaining uniform national minimum wages and wage rates in the public sector, the Government creates real imbalances in regional labour markets," he wrote.

Mr Freeman’s appointment, first reported by the Daily Mirror newspaper, signals the possibility of a radically right-wing direction for industrial policy under the now PM.

Both Downing Street and Mr Freeman declined to comment to the newspaper.

George Freeman leaves No.10

It comes after the Coalition Government commissioned the so-called Beecroft Report, which looked at changes to employment law and uggested making it easier to sack workers.

The new Prime Minister appears to be breaking with the industrial strategy of the last government. Last week she said all takeovers of British companies should be scrutinised to judge whether they were in the national interest.

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