Compliance costs

letters-new

- Credit: Archant

Verity Brown’s letter (‘New approach’, Opinion Extra, March 8) calling for a consensus approach to Britain’s economic problems sounds reasonable, always assuming that the various interests can agree on what is wrong and propose workable solutions. Unfortunately, such is not the case.

Politicians, economists and sociologists have many ideas as to what ails our economy and what should be done about it, but although many of their proposals could work in theory, they are not always politically acceptable.

For example, one serious difficulty these days if that so much of our social and economic life is bound up with activity that is expensive but does little to invigorate the economy. Taxpayers’ money increasingly goes to buying ‘compliances’ rather than real goods and services.

This, of course, is nothing new. Governments have been getting increasingly regulatory for centuries. However, in recent decades the regulations – such as “health and safety” – have been getting increasingly costly and have benefitted fewer and fewer people.

So what to do about it? Try scrapping even one of these regulations and see the fury break out! Governments find that government is becoming increasingly problematic.


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