Busting the Red Tape myth
Alex Hern and I have written a contribution to the New Economics Foundation‘s excellent series of mythbusters. Ours is on the myth that “red tape is preventing recovery” (also written with the Tax Justice Network) and we point out that, by international standards, Britain is a very lightly regulated country. Surveys of business opinion find that de-regulation is a pretty low priority for most of them – their biggest problem is the depressed demand for their goods and services. And the red tape debate usually misses out the fact that regulations (to protect workers, consumers and the environment, among others) bring benefits, as well as costs. There’s also a shorter version of our argument at the New Statesman’s Current Account blog.