Euro delay gets backing from UK employer bodies

Chancellor Gordon Brown’s decision to delay joining the Euro has received
support by heavyweight employer bodies.

Last week, the Chancellor judged that the five economic tests on whether the
UK should join the single European currency had not been passed.

They include whether joining the Euro would adversely affect employment and
growth, and business and workforce flexibility.

Announcing his decision, Brown said the UK should only join the Euro if
there was a "clear and unambiguous case" for doing so in the national

CBI director general Digby Jones, said that he welcomed the rigour of the
chancellor’s assessment, and agreed that further sustainable convergence is
necessary before ministers put the question of Euro entry to the country.

"This is not a one-way street," he said. "We in the UK are
good Europeans, and it is not insular arrogance to seek a Europe that is
flexible in its labour markets, reformed in its pensions, financial services,
agriculture and energy sectors, as well as transparent in its decision

John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel
Development, does not believe joining the Euro would have a significant
long-term impact on UK employment.

He defended Brown’s cautious stance, but said it was a ‘telling fact’ that
the chancellor only made passing reference to the effect on jobs.

Philpott believes that moves by the Government to increase the use of wage
bargaining and regional pay setting would help prepare the UK’s employment
market for Euro entry.

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