The Deputy Prime Minister called on small businesses to let the Office of Tax Simplification know what is wrong with the existing tax system. He urged companies to tell them which forms were burdensome, which regulations act as an obstruction to their business, as the government are keen to overhaul the tax system and get it right.
In his speech, during a visit to an East London business, Nick Clegg referred to a law which will be announced by Vince Cable regarding “protected conversations”. The law would offer some protection to employers who needed to have “frank conversations” with employees, including discussion of retirement with older employees, without concern of facing an employment tribunal. Business inspections will also receive huge changes, with only two visits by inspectors being permitted in a year.
Other organisations will be given an overhaul, including HM Revenue & Customs, the Health and Safety Executive and the Environment Agency. He said:
“We will put pressure on the regulators. If they don’t prove their function, they’ll go. That’s not going to happen to HMRC but the need for a measured approach is essential.”
According to the Deputy PM, the regulators will be monitored closely, measuring necessity and whether they are required. The regulators would be on a rolling review, and if their roles are replicated by another organisation, they will be removed.
The director of policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, Adam Marshall was encouraged by the speech, but called for a detailed plan for the deregulation, providing confidence for businesses who are looking for change in real time.
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