Employers offering contracts on a no-pay basis have been defended by Work and Pensions Secretary Ian Duncan Smith. “First and foremost, people working under these arrangements pay no income tax whatsoever, and they have the benefit of knowing exactly how much money they will not be paid every week,” Duncan Smith told the CBI. “This is a type of employment that has been in operation since the dawn of time, and has supported many great civilisations,” he continued.
“We must also remember how ethnic minorities have in the past benefitted from these arrangements, and I’m proud to recall how British trade played its part in a system which eventually gave us a fantastic musical tradition in the United States, which came to be worth many millions of pounds in sales of gramophone records on both sides of the Atlantic, not to mention Roots, which I have acquired in box set form for government training purposes. As a Gladys Knight and the Pips fan, I can’t overestimate how important it is we maintain this form of austerity-beating employment.”