In a word: Yes.
Yesterday’s UK budget has largely been met with positive press, and we would add our support, albeit qualified, to the measures it contained.
Our gripe is not with what was in the budget, but what was left out. Some huge opportunities have been squandered:
Only one of the loony aspects of the recent and ridiculous Equality Act is to be repealed. The whole act should go.
There is to be a 3-year moratorium on new domestic regulations for businesses with 10 or less employees. We don’t oppose this but it isn’t enough. It does nothing to relieve the regulatory burden already being suffered. All the government has said is that it will not get worse for three years.
Moreover, this is only domestic regulation. Most of the worst regulations imposed on British businesses are international – the results of foolish commitments made by passed governments, which this one lacks the courage or foresight to undo.
There were a few modest tax cuts. The government hailed the fact that Britain will have the lowest profits tax of anyone in the G7. Big deal! The British economy has to compete against far more players than the other 6 members of this club.
The tax system is to be simplified ... in a tiny way. What a lost opportunity for a radical overhaul. The problem is so bad that tinkering around the edges is all but pointless.
A silly wheeze when looked you stand back and look at it objectively. Successive governments have made the economy uncompetitive, unable to develop and sustain significant growth and bordering on the dysfunctional.
Rather than undo the harm they have done the government introduces silly gimmicks, such as Enterprise Zones to try to offset the problems it has created (or sustained) elsewhere. But all these enterprise zones amount to is zero business rates – a tax that should not exist in the first place – and super fast broadband. Again, big deal!
The whole country should be an enterprise zone. ‘Nuff said.