Survey reveals coalition split on workers’ rights

A survey published today has highlighted differences of opinion among members of the coalition Government on the topic of workers’ rights and other key business issues.

The survey, published by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), on the first day of the Liberal Democrat party conference in Liverpool, found differing opinions among MPs from the two coalition parties when it came to the rights of workers.

Some 87% of Conservative MPs surveyed said they felt the balance of employment law has shifted too far in favour of employees. However, Lib Dem MPs who were polled offered a contrasting viewpoint, with 71% saying they felt the opposite was true.

This difference of opinion takes place over an issue that the BCC claims is preventing businesses from taking on more staff.

The survey, published by the BCC and carried out by ComRes, polled 152 MPs across all parties during June and July.

It also found that 70% of Lib Dem respondents want business infrastructure expenditure to rise or remain constant in real terms, while just 27% of Conservatives agreed.

In addition, the survey also found a smaller difference of opinion among coalition members on the subject of overseas trade, with 62% of Conservative respondents agreeing with the appointment of a full-time trade minister to “bang the drum” for British companies overseas, while only 50% of Lib Dem MPs felt this was necessary.

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