What I find it absolutely fascinating is how relentlessly is this government pouring its propagandistic arguments over the heads of the confused electorate. This indoctrination makes it possible for instance in the US, that although one candidate paints half of the voters as lazy wimps, about a third of them would still elect him. The American Dream has been by far the best selling product in the US for decades.
Similarly, the illusion making machine in the UK wants to "empower" the employees by making them "owners of capital". Make no mistake: a low-ranking employee will continue to own a minuscule share of equity, just as his/her income is a minuscule percentage of the top management, and his/her wealth is a minuscule part of the capital owners, and his/her children prospects of moving up the social ladder are barely visible. The "ownership reform" will make no difference in his/her well-being or wealth, but will increase uncertainty and fear.
Mr Osborne's plea confuses basic human rights with motivation. Why does one need to CHOSE between rights and company stock? Why can't people have fair protection AND a slice of the company?
Once the rights are taken away, are gone. Rights like these were fought over decades, and only been implemented after massive social convulsions. Share holdings are completely out of the hands of employees their performance usually is determined by the CEO's short-term incentives. People making £30k per year have no influence over the performance of the stock, and no matter what shareholding "incentives" may add, it cannot simply out-do CEO's strategic mistakes or mitigate agency costs.
This proposal would leave hard working people exposed to abuse from their employers, make them overall poorer and ultimately constitute a burden for the rest of the taxpayers.
Mr Osborne, you should be ashamed of yourself.