By Marcus Leach
The Red Tape challenge website was launched today, Thursday, by the Prime Minister and Business Secretary Vince Cable.
However, the scheme has been met with some trepidation by David Ingall of JWPCreers.
“We have to ask firstly ‘What is red tape?’ I suggest that it is the whole environment that the government creates for its citizens and for business," he said.
"There is so much talk about reducing red tape but obviously the Government is having difficulty identifying what red tape is because they have had to create this website.
“The difficulty is that the 'Government', led by David Cameron, doesn’t govern this country. That is done by the myriad of departments that govern the state. Those departments have entirely different objectives from the political government.
“Red tape are the obstacles that get in the way of conducting business. Yes, there have to be rules but it is how far those rules go.
“HMRC seems determined to make fools of the political Government by announcing the launch of the ultimate in red tape - the examination of 200,000 SMEs business accounting records over the coming four years that will see businesses under threat of fines if they haven’t got it right. Additionally, they appear to have started this process six months earlier than had been announced.
“Each of us has our own view of red tape. Our Government can pay lip service in order to get rid of it but a few items need to be identified and then they need to go immediately. Do we believe that this can be achieved? Without a programme of slash and burn I fear we all remain cynical.”
Experian’s Managing Director for SME, UK & Ireland, Simon Streat:
“It will be interesting to see the response that the new website generates. Small businesses have to dedicate a significant chunk of their resource to meeting regulations, and the reality is that many will not be aware that some ever existed in the first place. Whether core financial regulations change significantly on the back of today’s announcement is uncertain, but what is certain is that small business owners will still need to equip themselves with a basic knowledge of regulations relating to their financials. Any breaches — however inadvertent — could ultimately impact negatively on their business credit score.”