Lib Dems jump on red tape bandwagon

Speaking at a news conference this morning, Kennedy said the government needed to impose fewer burdens on the business community and called for an ‘examination of all regulations on business to see whether they were really necessary’.

Shadow chancellor Matthew Taylor, speaking on the same platform said his party would support businesses further by ‘reducing the huge burden of bureaucracy they face’.

‘Companies should not have to administer benefits, student loans and immigration rules on behalf of the Government,’ Taylor said.

In response, he promised and end to all stealth taxes and said, under a Liberal Democrats government, there would be no addition to business rates.

The accusations against Labour add to those already levelled at the Tory party, who the Liberal Democrats have blamed for building up necessary regulations while in power.

On Tuesday this week, shadow Tory chancellor Michael Portillo promised to block excessive business regulations when launching the Conservative’s business manifesto, a promise which Vince Cable, Liberal Democrat shadow secretary of state for trade and industry, said had absolutely no credibility whatsoever.

Meanwhile, Kennedy called the Conservatives: ‘incompetent stewards of the British economy’, but also critical of Labour, who he said, had done very little to address Tory mistakes.

Commenting on the economy, he said the outlook was good. But he pointed out, farming was ‘reeling’ due to BSE and foot-and-mouth, manufacturing suffered because of the strong pound and tourism had been ‘hit hardest in recent months’.

The Liberal Democrats promised to tackle the problem of overvalued Sterling by setting an explicit exchange rate and balancing tax and spending plans. They also promised to invest in education and learning


Election 2001

Related reading