The latest Accountancy Age/Read Finance Big Question survey showed that 27% of FDs believe the recently announced Tory policy to cut 80% of jobs in the DTI would help business. John Davies, FD at Moore and Blatch, spoke for many when he said: ‘Anything that reduces the red tape burden on British business can only be seen in a positive light.’
A review by former Millennium Dome troubleshooter David James for the Tory party concluded that DTI staff numbers should be cut from 5,000 to 1,000. The party argues that the remaining civil servants would be dedicated to removing barriers to business growth and deregulating business.
One of the fiance directors questioned agreed with the policy, saying: ‘It’s a question of cutting the unproductive parts of the DTI.’ Another said that any cut in staff had to come with a reduction in regulation.
But the 200 FDs questioned were split on the issue. Many (37%) believed taking a scythe to DTI staff numbers would make no difference at all. Some described the step as ‘too radical’. Amanda Lewis, FD at Bond Street Agencies, said: ‘It may cut the red tape, but it may mean poorer service.’ Another FD said savings made through staff cuts would ‘never find its way into the pockets of British business’.
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