During the election campaign, there was a lot of talk about how politicians may have little sense of what life is really like for those who will be expected to work with the policies they introduce. With many of the members of the major parties have gone straight from private education into the rarefied world of politics, it appears that the new government are keen to ensure that they improve the credibility of those who are in the position to make important decisions.
To this end, two former city professionals have been engaged in order to help refine policies pertaining to contractors, both of whom were state educated before their success in the private sector. Sajid Javid has been appointed as Business Secretary to replace Vince Cable and comes from state education in Bristol before studying Economics and Politics at Exeter University. Greg Hands is the new Chief Secretary to the Treasury and has replaced the previous incumbent Danny Alexander, although he will not be a full cabinet member like his predecessor was. Mr Hands went to a grammar school before earning a place at Cambridge University where he read history.
Both new appointments have taken significant pay –cuts in order to accept their posts (up to 98 per cent in Mr Javid’s case, reportedly) and they are thought to be a sign that the Tories are trying to appeal to working people who might otherwise feel marginalised by the party’s plans. David Cameron’s ‘One Nation’ aspiration has been exemplified by the fact that they have brought in professionals who have plenty of business experience and full life before politics.
The pair should also be examples to younger voters, with both having a swathe of achievements to their names with Mr Hands speaking a number of different languages and having held a number of influential positions, and Mr Javid has been the senior managing director of Deutsche Bank AG.
The Association of Independent Professionals has expressed their optimism about the impact that these two individuals could have on those who are self-employed, running small businesses and contracting. Mr Javid is a firm supporter of small businesses and has an in-depth understanding of the importance of improving the culture that the UK has for late payment. The Federation for Small Businesses believes that reducing the administrative burden placed on small businesses should be a priority for this government and are confident that the appointment of Messrs Javid and Hand will be in a good position to ensure this happens.
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