Red Tape or Green Light?
UK PM David Cameron gave a speech to the Federation of Small Business (FSB) on Monday where he lauded the Government’s drive to cut regulation. He claimed that this would be the first Government in history to leave behind fewer laws than it found on taking office.
While as a small business owner myself, I hate unnecessary red tape, I bridle at the assumption that all legislation is bad for business. It is a constant refrain at my Corporate Sustainability Mastermind Group that legislation can spur innovation and create value. In fact, one of my clients, FTSE100 precious metals giant Johnson Matthey, attributes over 75% of its turnover to helping others meet the requirements of legislation whether supplying catalytic convertors for cars or NOx-reducing systems for industrial processes.
I would go so far as to say it is not the quantity of legislation that is the problem, but the quality – if Mr Cameron really wanted to help small business, he would get HMRC to completely rebuild its website which is impenetrable to mere mortals who simply want to pay their tax on time. Make being responsible easy!