Posted by: Suzanne Motherwell on May 19, 2011
The UK Government are asking businesses, organisations and the public to take part in the Red Tape Challenge.
The Red Tape Challenge website seeks your views on ways in which to, primarily, rid business of the burden of regulations-and inspections and bureaucracy that goes with them.
This is an interesting consultation process, with its intention to ‘open up Government’ to the public and stimulate debate and discussion to find out ways ‘existing regulation can be fulfilled in the least burdensome way possible.’
The site goes on to say that ‘presence of a particular regulation or law on this website should not be read as implying any intention on the part of the Government to remove that regulation or law from the statute book.’
So why ask the question ‘should they be scrapped altogether’? If enough people said yes, then as a beacon of democratic accountability that is exactly what the Government should do?
My dubiety is strengthened by the inclusion of the Equality Act 2010, a piece of legislation which sticks in the throat of a Government who firmly believe in meritocracy.
So far there have been 5043 individual responses to ‘equalities regulations’, many of whom are aghast at the thought of losing some hard fought for equalities legislation.
Without the Equality Act it would be lawful to pay a woman less money for the same work, sack a woman after she marries and sack a woman for being pregnant. The list could go on.
So I would urge you to take the Red Tape Challenge, if only to ensure this Government does not manage to get a mandate to reverse the equalities legislation, the cornerstone of a progressive society.