Page last updated at 14:28 GMT, Thursday, 24 May 2012 15:28 UK

MP calls for better management of businesses

A Labour MP has told the House of Commons that UK businesses need better management rather than deregulation.

During Business, Innovation and Skills questions on 24 May 2012, Barry Sheerman quoted a Chartered Management Institute report which claimed that "43% of managers in this country are rated as poor".

He added: "Let's do something about management rather than going on about red tape."

Conservative MP Stephen Hammond had tabled a question asking ministers what steps they had taken to reduce the burden of regulation on business.

Mr Hammond said small businesses in his constituency wanted "access to lending and… deregulation".

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk told him that the government had reviewed 1,500 regulations as part of its Red Tape Challenge and "ministers have agreed to scrap or substantially overhaul 59% of those - some 887 regulations".

Liberal Democrat MP Lorely Burt referred to the recent report by venture capitalist Adam Beecroft, which included proposals to give firms more flexibility to sack workers.

"A fire at will policy might actually be counter-productive and won't actually increase productivity or growth," she said.

Mr Prisk said the proposal was just "one of 23 different measures" in Mr Beecroft's report.

Labour MP Ian Lavery asked whether "a person who has made in excess of a £500,000 donation to the Conservative Party and made more than £100m from private equity deals is a fit and proper person to determine government policy on workers' rights".

Mr Prisk warned him that "we need to be very careful" when making such allegations.

He defended Mr Beecroft's role, saying "it is important to have good employers, good people who actually understand the market" advising the government.

Shadow business minister Ian Murray referred to reports of Business Secretary Vince Cable's opposition to the Beecroft proposals and alleged that the report "puts old Tory ideology before any credible strategy to get people back to work".

But the minister accused him of producing "platitudes", adding: "We are actually acting and you are not."

Other questions were on topics including business confidence, the post office network and caravan manufacturing in and around Hull.


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