Making the workforce scared does not help the economy grow.

Two issues have come up in the last couple of week that starkly illustrate that the Liberal Democrats and the Tory right wing have very different views about how you treat the workforce.

They are the issues of Regional Pay, and the Beecroft Report.

I have never understood the argument for regional pay, apart from the London weighting, because London is so much more expensive to live than everywhere else.

Someone who empties bins in Burnage should get paid the same as someone emptying the bins in Bradford or Birmingham.

Last week, I met with senior North West Union officials from the TUC, NUT and Unison to discuss Regional Pay. We agreed that we would work together to oppose plans to introduce it for the north west, and I am glad Vince Cable and Nick Clegg have signalled their opposition too.

The Beecroft report is another example. I reject his plans for no fault dismissal, and urge the Government to do the same.

Giving companies more power to fire employees for no good reason as a way to strengthen the economy is an absurd idea. There is absolutely no evidence to back this theory up and the Government should not be taking it seriously.

Making the workforce scared does not help the economy grow. Better that we work with the workforce and focusing on getting businesses the capital they need and addressing the problem of frail demand.

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