Daily Archives: August 13, 2012

Jim Pickard

You may have read in several places over the last week about a new “jobs bill” which is being drawn up for the autumn and will somehow launch the Heathrow expansion, slash red tape and kickstart the economy.

All of this is a little premature.

Tensions are growing in the coalition over how to fill the gap in the parliamentary calendar left by the collapse of House of Lords reform, but ministers are nowhere near agreement on new laws to stimulate the economy.

Downing Street is under pressure from rightwing Conservative MPs to deliver free-market reforms that some hope could be enacted through a “jobs bill” or “economic regeneration bill”.

Boris Johnson, London’s mayor, spoke for many on Sunday when he urged the government to press on with “supply-side reforms” such as slashing red tape, as well as a new London airport and more housebuilding and infrastructure.

Nadhim Zahawi, a former businessman who is close to George Osborne, the chancellor, told the Financial Times that he wanted a more flexible labour market to unlock business growth.

Elizabeth Truss, a leading member of the Conservative party Free Enterprise Group, called for an aviation bill to allow a new four-runway hub airport in the south-east and employment reforms to exempt small companies from unfair dismissal claims.

The Tory backbencher is championing a planning bill to include compensation packages for residents affected by nearby developments and legislation to enhance the competitiveness of the banking, energy and telecoms sectors.

But officials denied Downing Street was behind reports that such