A survey of British and European social attitudes was also published this week. It showed that commitment to work has fallen in Britain over the past eight years. In 1989, 65 per cent of Britons said that they would want a paid job even if they did not need the money. By 1997, this figure had dropped to 58 per cent.
People on fixed-term contracts were less committed to work than those with secure jobs.
About 28 per cent of people with contracts running for less than a year said that work was their most important activity, compared with 35 per cent of those with longer-term fixed contracts and 39 per cent with permanent jobs.