We feel that current policy and regulations are too rigid and don’t take into account the impact on small businesses. There is also an issue that policymakers seem to view small business like a big business only smaller.
With that in mind, we are seeking to change the culture to ensure that there is a better understanding of small business issues and needs and that these are taken into account when setting policy and creating regulation.
This means turning the current triangle on its head where the needs and issues of big business are looked at first gradually filtering down to the smallest, small business needs to be looked at first, they, after all, have the most complex issues and the fewest resources.
When consulting on and communicating policy and regulation big business tends to be considered first, as a small business makes up over 99% of the UK economy so from a Government point of view small business needs to come first when planning, consulting and communicating.
We know that the pace of change means that much regulation starts to hit issues very early in its existence but very often having hit things that regulators didn’t know, they didn’t know, they are unable to act as a review is not due for 4 years. We think that standards should be investigated first as a potential solution all be it standards set creatively before the regulatory path is followed. Where regulation is created it needs to be as right as it can be while maintaining the ability to evolve along with changes in the business environment, so setting statutory review periods of 3 years or more is unrealistic and unhelpful. We need shorter review periods and regulation and policy that can be changed and evolve.
The UK's tax system is far too complex and needs a full review and change, at the moment it’s not working fairly for all businesses and so is not fit for purpose. It’s time to stop tinkering and carry out a full and comprehensive review.
The issues with Tax also highlight an issue that also affects regulation generally in that in many cases big companies have better resources to deal with a tax or regulatory issues than HMRC or the regulators have and the more complex the Regulation or Tax regime is the easier it is for the to find loopholes and do their job. The simpler and clearer the Tax system or Regulation is the better.