This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
38


BUSINESS FIRST June\July 2012 www.businessfirstmagazine.co.uk


REGULATION:


EUROPE’S FATAL FIX


As Europe peers into the financial abyss, Nicholas Paget-Brown says we are witnessing a typical bout of Coalition schizophrenia over regulation.


All Governments profess themselves enthusiastic about small businesses. New jobs, Fresh Opportunities, Innovation and Exports are the keywords in almost every election manifesto. Ministers are keen to show that they ‘get’ enterprise (although few of them have much if any experience of it).


But there is a widening gap between the rhetoric and the reality. The very politicians campaigning to support successful businesses have also allowed themselves to be countermanded by the invisible hand of bureaucracies, amenable to pressure groups, biased towards intervention. We face what Sir Humphrey Appleby might have described as a ‘clash between the political will and the administrative won’t’. It is this that is now undermining the dynamism the European economies so desperately need.


That said, new laws can sometimes


stimulate new businesses. For example, waste regulations, laws on packaging and limits on pollution forced innovation and fired up the development of alternative technologies that led to the creation of new companies and jobs. But too often it is the other kind of law, the ones making it expensive and time-consuming to hire labour that is leaving Europe bloated and uncompetitive. Businesses now have to cope with expensive measures on protection of employment rights, redundancy, parental leave, part time workers and equal treatment of temporary workers, not to mention a ‘programme for clean and competitive SMEs.’


As we know, the vast majority of this stems from directives initiated in Brussels by the unaccountable Commission, gold-plated by the low- visibility European Parliament then passed into national law, masking what amounts to social engineering and


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68