Lowman urges Clegg to act on red tape

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The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has been called upon by Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman to do more to reduce red tape for small businesses.

During a speech by Clegg at a meeting of small businesses, Lowman challenged him to extend the moratorium on new employment legislation to more businesses, and to reduce burdens from local government and enforcement practices.

“The government is setting the right agenda for tackling the burden of regulation, but it needs to go further and faster,” said Lowman. “Special dispensation applying to micro-businesses should be extended to more small firms. The culture of better regulation has to stretch to town halls as well as Whitehall, especially with more regulatory decisions being made at a local level.”

Clegg has proposed loosening the rules around inspections and urged the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive to “liberate small businesses from the burden of red tape”.

“On average, for every hour someone in a big company spends on paperwork, someone in a smaller firm spends nearly nine hours,” he said. “The typical small business owner says they are spending around a day a week complying with government regulation rather than bringing in new business. That is bad enough in the good times. It makes even less sense when times are tough.”

One area focused on by Lowman was the government’s plans to streamline the tax system. “We need to hold the government to this pledge,” he said. “We would like to hear from retailers details of how the tax system could be made less costly and bureaucratic.”

Readers' comments (1)

  • I hope, unlike all previous governments over the years , the current lot would seriously look at he tax system. I have a long list of shopping list excuse the pun. The government should keep a lid on " no win no fee " which encourages frivolous claims and also try scrapping or streamlining local legislation. With the localism noises getting louder and louder surely it's in the best interest of business and local government to have less civil servants chasing paper work at the same time let business get on with running the show and hopefully creating more jobs or even keeping the ones they have got ! Cost reductions for all.

    On the question of simplifying the tax system, I would like to see National Insurance (NI) and direct taxation amalgamated as one. Just imagine how simple that would be. I know this idea has been mooted around recently but has got lost in the smog of government spending time on Euro legislatin, the business secretary's private life etc etc , the list goes on ! I also would like to see the tax allowances scraped and instead all taxes adjusted accordingly with 10% , 20% , 30% and max 40% with only the start points adjusted every time any taxes needs to go up or down ! How simple can that be again ! Tax credits should be introduced for all not just the few to encourage single fathers to go to work instead of being ripped off by all parties concerned. You may think what has all this got to do with retailing? Believe me it has !!!!

    Arjan Mehr - Londis Bracknell

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