Chronicle: Industrial Relations in the United Kingdom December 1986–March 1987

Publication Date01 Jul 1987
DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8543.1987.tb00718.x
AuthorEDMUND HEERY
Chronicle: Industrial Relations
in the United Kingdom December
1986-March 1987
THE LABOUR MARKET
The official estimate
of
unemployment remained above 3 million, though
with a slight downward trend. The underlying rate
of
increase
of
earnings in
the year to December was
7.75
per cent for the economy as a whole and
8
per
cent
for
production industries. According to the CBI pay data bank,
settlements in manufacturing averaged 4.9 per cent in January. The number
of industrial disputes recorded by the Department
of
Employment remained
low, though the 1986 total
of
983 represented a significant increase on the
1985 figure of 903, the lowest recorded for forty years. Figures released by
the Department
of
Employment in February indicated that between 1981
and 1985 Britain’s flexible workforce composed of temporary, part-time and
home workers and the self-employed, had grown by 16 per cent to a total
of
8.1
million.
GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND ACTIVITIES
ECONOMIC
POLICY
The
Budget
In his budget speech on March 17th, the Chancellor, Mr Nigel Lawson,
forecast that output would rise by
3
per cent in the forthcoming year and
inflation would rise only slightly, peaking at 4.5 per cent in the summer. The
Chancellor announced a 2p cut in the basic rate of income tax and a
23
billion
reduction in the target for public borrowing. Other measures included tax
incentives to encourage the spread
of
profit related pay and personal
pensions and changes in the law
on
VAT to assist small businesses. The
Chancellor also announced the dropping
of
any formal target for the broad
money supply measure, Sterling
M3,
which had once been at the heart of the
government’s monetary policy.

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