Lynne Featherstone vs Steve Hilton on maternity pay

From yesterday’s Observer:

In a wide-ranging interview with the Observer, Featherstone said it was vital the coalition delivered on its family-friendly rhetoric … In a forthright attack on some of the advisers shaping government policy, she criticised the role of Adrian Beecroft, a venture capitalist tasked with reporting to the prime minister on how to cut regulation on business. Beecroft is understood to have recommended a U-turn on government policies on shared parental leave and flexible working.

The proposals, outlined in a white paper, would allow couples greater freedom to co-ordinate maternity and paternity leave. A separate proposal would make it easier to request flexible working hours.

Featherstone told the Observer that Beecroft’s recommendation that the moves should be shelved was not acceptable and would be “swept away”. She also made her feelings clear over a recent “blue sky” proposal from Steve Hilton, the prime minister’s director of strategy, suggesting that the government could scrap maternity pay altogether. Featherstone said: “Well, I might talk about scrapping Steve Hilton.”

As the Telegraph added:

The Prime Minister is now facing a split in Cabinet over the future of the policies.

Along with Mr Hilton, George Osborne and Eric Pickles are understood to be in favour of a roll back while Nick Clegg, Theresa May, Oliver Letwin and Michael Gove fear it could harm attempts to appeal to women voters.

It’s a bit of an old-fashioned oddity (to put it politely) to talk about the electoral impact of family friendly policies only in terms of female voters. Rumour has it that families contain men too and parenting can involve males. But it does also reflect the way the attention of several (male) Conservative and Lib Dem Cabinet members to these issues followed them looking through political polling a few months ago showing the different ways men and women view the government.

Sticking to the government’s proposals on maternity leave is particularly important because, as Rob Blackie wrote earlier this year, there is even a case to argue that they are our most popular policy since the coalition was formed.

As for what Lynne Featherstone said about Steve Hilton, if think think that was acerbic, you should hear what plenty of Liberal Democrats in Whitehall say about him in private, and they are not exactly out of tune with some in Conservative Party ranks…

Read more by or more about , , , , , , , , , , or .
This entry was posted in News.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/25633 for Twitter and emails.
Advert

One Comment

  • Let’s hope Lynne Featherstone and others stick to their guns. We all want economic growth but the danger is that the Thatcherite right use the economic situation as a means of axing many workplace benefits that they have long sought to pare back. Already we hear talk of curbing the minimum wage in some form, on the grounds that the very modest floor it places under wages is in some way stopping jobs being created. As usual, it seems, those with the least are being asked to make the most sacrifices to help the economy.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAlex Sabine 27th Mar - 1:30am
    @ Malcolm "Let's remember Maudling did indeed leave a mess - at least he was honest." I agree. Though by the standards of future Chancellors...
  • User AvatarAlex Sabine 27th Mar - 1:18am
    @ Philip From a long-term supply-side point of view, I agree. Higher productivity is essential, and part of that requires allowing unproductive firms to go...
  • User AvatarSara Scarlett 27th Mar - 12:32am
    This op-ed in a nutshell is this: = "I know that plain packaging of everything is authoritarian but what's so wrong with authoritarianism anyway?"
  • User AvatarSara Scarlett 27th Mar - 12:20am
    Great article, Tom. The case for airport expansion is strong anyway. In a few years when airplanes are noise and pollution free we'll be sorry...
  • User AvatarPeter 27th Mar - 12:04am
    Restricting aviation by demand (e.g. simply not allowing airports to expand infrastructure) is pretty much the least economic and environmentally sound way of regulating air...
  • User AvatarGeoffrey Payne 26th Mar - 11:57pm
    Now we know. If there was a Coalition party he would leave the Lib Dems and join that. I notice he is bemoaning the levels...
Sat 28th Mar 2015
Tue 31st Mar 2015
Sun 5th Apr 2015
Sat 11th Apr 2015
Sun 12th Apr 2015