20 September 2011 2:28 PM

Cut your hours to help the poor

Liberal Democrat conference would not be Liberal Democrat conference without some wacky cutting-edge, blue skies thinking proposals.

And just as the Lib-Dems are getting all managerial, along comes Simon Hughes with an idea to raise eyebrows.

He is suggesting that Britain's economic and social ills could be tackled by a "redistribution of work".

Under his plans, the over-worked would stop being tied to their desks for 70, 80 hours a week and would reduce their workload to spend more time with their families and on leisure activities - hence improving their work/life balance.

The under-employed or the unemployed would then find it easier to find work because it is not all being hogged by the over-worked. So their living standards would rise as they earn more.

"A fairer and more sane distribution of work is needed if we are to have an improved quality of life for all citizens," he says.

While not advocating a 35 hour French-style week, the Liberal Democrat deputy leader adds: "In the capital there are huge numbers of people, particularly lawyers and bankers, who work extremely long hours accumulating huge amounts of money they barely have time to spend.

"We also have many thousands of people who want work but cannot find any at all, or who are working part-time and would like to work more."

"Overwork has hugely damaging consequences for families, relationships and the quality of personal and community life.

"Lack of work is one of the biggest causes of poverty and poor physical and mental health. It is clear that we need a redistribution of work if we are to achieve the redistribution of wealth."

Interesting ideas from an MP whose workload makes 70 hours a week look part-time.

Nicholas Cecil



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Not only an idiot, but a hypocrite as well?

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.