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Mike Buchanan: Dave’s embrace of the spurious gender pay gap will just cut men’s wages


(This article was first published by Campaign for Merit in Business and reproduced with the kind permission of Mike Buchanan.)

We recommend to anyone foolish enough to believe the feminist gender pay gap narrative that they read a blog piece by William Collins – Gender Income Propaganda.

We have some key advisers who were of the view that the feminist-friendly agendas of the 2010-15 coalition were attributable (in part, at least) to the influence of the Lib Dems. I never believed that analysis. David Cameron made his pro-feminist / anti-male leanings perfectly clear before coming to power, most notably by announcing his intention in the autumn of 2009 to introduce all-women shortlists for prospective parliamentary candidates. Along with many other members, I cancelled my party membership that day, and the proposal was dropped following uproar among Conservative MPs and other party supporters.

Following the government’s ‘success’ in bullying FTSE100 companies (through the threat of legislated gender quotas) into ‘voluntarily’ achieving 25 per cent female representation on their boards – the figure is an average over all the companies – the government is going to extend its anti-male and anti-business agenda, by bullying companies with 250 employees or more into calculating and then publishing the gap between male average earnings and female average earnings. The Daily Mail report on the matter is here. You would search in vain for criticisms of the initiative from the paper itself, even in the four-page-long business section. The rules are expected to come into force by the end of 2015.

The most intelligent contribution to the article was this:

Last night Len Shackleton, research fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: ‘The current Government shows no more understanding of the gender pay gap than its predecessors.

The gap is not caused primarily, if at all, by discrimination – but largely by career choices and family decisions.

The reality is that the measures announced by the Government will do little to reduce the gender pay gap – and in the case of the National Living Wage, may actually cause higher unemployment among women. They will however add to the burdens imposed on firms by this allegedly pro-business government.’

This is yet another feminist-inspired initiative which goes even further than the Labour party went in its last administrations (1997-2010). Both of our major political parties are dancing relentlessly to the feminists’ tunes.

In my 30 years in the business sector I recruited, managed, and promoted many people. Frequently people with the same job titles had different salaries, because of the different contributions they delivered, or the difficulty or ease with which roles in different specialisms could be filled.

The outcomes of the new rules are all too predictable. We’ll have the ‘equal pay for work of equal value’ farce, in which the factors that disincline women from particular jobs (risk, unpleasant working conditions, unsociable hours…) will be disregarded, so women’s earnings will be inflated to match those of men who are prepared to accept those factors.

We’ll have vexatious claims from women maintaining their contributions are as important as those of their male colleagues, regardless of the truth or otherwise of the claims. Wary of negative publicity, firms will settle out of court.

None of this will be accompanied by increased sales of the companies’ goods and services, of course, so the only way for firms to compensate for the increased earnings of women – without reducing profitability – will be to deflate the earnings of male employees.

An extract from the Daily Mail article, written by Daniel Martin, Chief Political Correspondent:

Writing in The Times, he (David Cameron) said: ‘Today I’m announcing a really big move. We will make every single company with 250 employees or more publish the gap between average female earnings and average male earnings. This will cast sunlight on the discrepancies and create the pressure we need for change, driving women’s wages up.

Higher pay is something we want for everyone. That is why the Chancellor announced the National Living Wage, which starts next April at £7.20 and will reach over £9 by 2020. This will primarily help women, who tend to be in lower paid jobs.

It will help close the gender pay gap. But we need to go further, and that’s why introducing gender pay audits is so important.’

David Cameron was the winner of our ‘Toady of the Year’ awards four years in succession – 2012/3/4/5. Details of all the awards are here. With this new initiative, Dave’s made a strong bid to win the award next year too.

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Mike Buchanan
Mike Buchanan
Mike Buchanan is the leader of Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them), the only political party in the English-speaking world campaigning for the human rights of men and boys on many fronts.

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