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Issue #1553      27 June 2012

Beecroft: I didn’t do any real research

Britain: Venture capitalist and Tory adviser Adrian Beecroft was lambasted by Labour MPs last week after he admitted his controversial employment report was based on “conversations” and “he did not have time” to do proper research.

The report sparked outrage when it was published last month with its proposals to allow bosses to sack workers at will, dilute Tupe laws and cut the period for consultation on redundancy to 30 days.

Giving evidence to the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill committee, Mr Beecroft denied his research was based “entirely on anecdotal evidence.”

He said the case for making it easier for small firms to hire and fire employees was “self-evident” and claimed that employment laws were a disincentive for firms to expand.

“If people are doing a job that is required but they are not doing it very well, they will be replaced. If people are doing a job that is not necessary, they will be made redundant,” he said.

“I should say that the work I was asked to do was a two-month piece of work, covering all employment law so I was not able to generate new statistics,” he went on.

“I will accept the accusation that my views on whether or not this would improve the efficiency of people working in businesses is based on conversations, not a statistically valid sample of people.”

Labour MP Geraint Davies said: “It just seems to me that you’ve failed to look at robust, empirical evidence and relied on unreliable, out-of-date, anecdotal evidence to come to these prejudicial conclusions.

“I just want to know why you didn’t look at reliable, quantitative studies and instead relied on unreliable, out-of-date opinion data which didn’t translate into the real world?

“We therefore come up with a load of proposals which are an open door for intimidation and bullying.”

Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane accused Mr Beecroft of “proposing policy by parable and legislation by anecdote.”

Speaking outside the committee, Mr Beecroft said the attention his report had brought had made him feel “rather uncomfortable” but he would do it again as the government planned to introduce 17 of his proposals.

Morning Star  

Next article – History is the enemy as “brilliant” psy-ops become the news

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