Cam Uses Big Government to Force Through Big Society

Dave’s Big Society redux will force firms to give their employees three extra days paid leave to do “volunteer work” to help “strengthen communities”. Which somewhat fails to grasp the definition of the word “volunteer”, someone who offers to do something for free. Business is less than impressed with what is effectively a compulsory extention of annual leave. The Institute of Directors warns:

“Passing a law to compel firms to pay their staff to volunteer for charity is hardly in keeping with the spirit of philanthropy. Businesses should support their staff if they want to volunteer, but the architects of this idea cannot pretend that forcing firms to give an additional three days of paid leave will do anything other than add costs. Time off for charity work and volunteering is a matter for managers and employees to discuss between themselves, not a target for heavy-handed government intervention.”

There’s a bit of a can’t win feel to all this. When the Tory campaign apparently ‘goes negative’, the media call it over the top, when it goes positive it’s wishy-washy statist interventionism. Though if Miliband had tried to force this through on the same day as further nationalisation of the railways, Fallon would be calling him a communist…

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