Someone started a discussion on the Enterprise Britain group on LinkedIn about what political parties should do for Enterprise Britain at the next election. All suggestions were excellent, but the discussion set me going on the need to cut back regulation and how to do it.
Well my solution is simple – there are simply too many people working at tax payer expense with too little to do. I am not talking about the front line workers. I am referring to management, especially the more senior ones, the consultants (not the medical ones) and the politicians. We have so many of them that we keep setting up new quangos and enquiry panels to keep them busy and that out of boredom and disconnect with reality they come up with new, stupid and completely impractical ideas which cost the rest of us money, time and frustration.
Let us start with a simple example. The law says you are not allowed to smoke indoors, except at home. So some clever person decides that a notice to that effect has to be plastered on every office, pub, hotel, shop, church (though these are exempted in some cases if you happened to know) and railway station. Now why was that necessary? The law was well publicised and anyway, try walking into any office, pub, hotel, shop or church with a cigarette and see how long it takes before someone tells you about the errors of your ways. Who needs signs?
Of course in business it gets much worse. The two favourites of your bored and over paid tax-suckers are health and safety and data protection. The result of health and safety is that we are now the only country in Europe and probably the globe, which requires an electrician to come to your office to unscrew every plug in the building, screw it back together and stick a label on it and then fill in a form to say they did just that. Data protection means that we have to go through a nauseating process of useless questions umpteen times before we can pay our gas bill, yet the mobile phone company is free to give away your renewal data so you can get lots of people calling you to offer you a new mobile phone.
What is my solution? Well it is simple, effective and will reduce the budget deficit dramatically. Reduce the number of people earning £75,000 or more at tax payer’s expense by 50% within 5 years and that includes MPs, and forbid the use of any external consultants. That will take away all the people trying to justify their jobs, and therefore reduce regulation to the absolute necessary rather than the amount needed to fill their time.
Oh and Mr Politician, I think I am the ideal person to head up the quango which will put this policy into effect and monitor it. I am available 1 day a week for a mere £74,999 a year.