The TUC launched a new report today called Slaying the red tape myths: Debunking the employers' 'red tape' claims that (self-evidently) hits out at employer groups that complain about the burden of "red tape" and at the same exaggerate its cost and fail to state which regulations they would like to see abolished.
Some of the key points include tackling the following issues:
1) That "red tape" is strangling business
2) Government regulation makes the UK uncompetitive and will harm jobs
3) The UK is too heavily regulated compared to other economies
4) Employers are worried about "red tape" more than anything else
5) All employment law is "red tape"
As one would expect the TUC "debunks" all of the above and quite convincingly too. Indeed the following statement arguably forms the basis of their stance on the matter of "red tape:
"The truth is that some of the world's most productive economies combine good rights at work, strong trade unions and low unemployment. The idea that wealth creation only comes about when few have rights is simply wrong in a modern knowledge economy."
I quite agree, apart from the fact that the "knowledge economy" is only a minor part of our economy thanks to the massive de-regulation of British industry in the 1980s. However, it also seems apparent that the business lobby sees blaming everyone but itself as the way forward. It's also ironic that the "red tape" we have today is very much the result of the business lobby lobbying government for employment law that negates the need for trade unions and the possibility of voluntaristic practices that come largley without government intervention.