When you ask an accountant, or any other businessman, to name his or her biggest gripe about the current government, you get only one answer – red tape.
This is the government that brought us the working time rules, the parental leave rules and the minimum wage. It is now starting to force employers to administer the benefits system through the paypacket with student loan collections and, from next April, the working families tax credit.
Many will argue that many of these new rules and regulations have a social benefit, particularly for the low-paid.
But many in the business community complain these new rules result in spiralling costs and wasted time, which detract from the business of doing business.
The government is now claiming that these people have a new saviour in the form of Cabinet Office Minister, Mo Mowlam.
Launching a campaign to ‘Banish the Bumpf’, she said: ‘What we’re launching is a whole new government approach to cut unnecessary burdens of red tape, administration and form-filling that can make life hell – for small businesses and for many in the public sector.’
To read the details of Mo Mowlam’s measures, scroll down.
Meanwhile, we want to know whether you think this popular government minister has any hope of succeeding in freeing businesses from the burden of red tape.
We also want to know what your top five red tape gripes are.
Please send them to us by clicking here. Responses will be used in a follow-up feature next week
Mo Mowlam’s anti-red tape measures Each government department to be asked to appoint a minister with direct responsibility for regulatory reform.
A new ministerial panel to be established ‘at the heart of government’ to call ministers to account for their department’s performance and programmes. It will be chaired by Mowlam and include Charles Falconer, Stephen Byers, Andrew Smith and (representing business and non-government interests) the Chair of the Better Regulation Task Force, Chris Haskins, and the chief executive of the Small Business Service.
Chris Haskins to meet ministers in charge of regulatory departments to discuss their simplification programmes and ensure action is taken to remove and simplify outdated regulation.
A new team set up to look explicitly at the burdens central government imposes on local authorities, doctors, teachers and other public sector workers.
Calls for a simpler tax system
Both the English ICA’s tax faculty and the Chartered Institute of Taxation have made frequent calls for the government to simplify the tax system.
This Thursday evening sees the annual Hardman Memorial Lecture at the English ICA, run by the tax faculty. Tax specialist Adam Broke is delivering the prestigious address on the subject of ‘Tax Simplification (or I wouldn’t start from here).’
Visit AccountancyAge.com on Friday to see what he had to say – and see where the tax faculty intends to take its rallying cry next.
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