I’m sitting in a client meeting feeling decidedly uncomfortable. Their reputation is at risk. The Chief Executive and Head of Marketing are having a difficult conversation about how to manage an issue and it’s, partially, my fault. Naturally I apologise, but inside I’m cheering because this is a discussion they need to be having. They are talking about having to publish their gender pay gap numbers and they are not happy about the picture those numbers paint. They already worry their staff will be pissed off, and they suspect it won’t go down well with customers, shareholders or the wider world either.
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Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer unveiled (probably) the last ever Spring Budget saying “our task today is to take the next steps in preparing Britain for a global future… (a thinly veiled Brexit reference) equip our young people with the skills they need, support our public services and build an economy that works for everyone.” His key message was that economic growth was not an end in itself, and the Government’s aim was to support “ordinary working families.”
Despite his reputation as a spreadsheet nerd not a showman, Hammond didn’t pull any political punches, with several bruising attacks on the Labour opposition. But his team seemed surprisingly unprepared for the fall out over changes to National Insurance that broke promises from the Conservative 2015 manifesto. We've collated some of the latest stakeholder reaction so you don't have to...