Wednesday, January 4

Hand-Arm Vibration Regulators

Any remaining doubt held by members of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) that they are truly over burdened as a direct result of European Union (EU) Regulations and Directives will be (or should be) dispelled when they read the January/February edition of their regionalised magazine, Voice of Business.

The useful bi-monthly information section contains in its centre pages 71 summarised updates of legal and taxation changes that effect the business community, of which 28 are directly attributable to EU Regulations or Directives and a further 8 are in some way connected to EU controlled issues.

Of course it is not simply the volume of rules that is the issue, the devil is in the demanding, mostly bewildering and often contradictory detail. Ranging from the demands of extended maternity pay rules to the complexities of VAT (an EU inspired tax) the imposition of regulation becomes increasingly more costly and more unintelligible. This continues despite the repeated assurances from our political masters delivered in, pure Orwellian newspeak, that it is all really and truly getting better and small businesses will not be harmed and the darlings should not worry.

One entry in the FSB magazine informs members that: '' the DTI, Defra, and HSE have published details of their respective plans to slash bureaucracy, simplify regulation and simplify control regimes as a part of the government's initiative to reduce administrative burdens on businesses by 25 per cent'', would have made Sir Humphrey Appleby at the department of Administrative Affairs (Yes Minister, 1978-80) very proud and could indeed also have been quoted from George Orwell's 1984.

It is not often that I dissolve into a fit of uncontrollable laughter when reading DTI literature, however I found that the following piece was simply hilarious:

'' Replacing the Operating and Financial review with a simpler Business review, in line with the minimum requirements of the EU Accounts Modernisation Directive'' .

It must be my pills, it is really of course quite depressing since readers are also informed that Defra's simplification plan will be:

''Reviewing domestic and EU commercial fishing legislation to reduce legislation and administration''.

Well, I should perhaps be reasonable in my comments, that's only fair since the EU's Common Fisheries Policy is totaly responsible for reducing the UK's fishing industry to its present uneconomic low level of production.

Reading on through the information listed by the FSB's man Alan Roxborough the small entrepeneur is told that ''Targeted Enforcement Improves Health and Safety'' and ''Trademark Protection in the EU costs less ''(less than what is not stated). So clearly we are left in no doubt that we must learn to love 'big brother in Brussels' who's all embracing care is good for us.
The reader is assured that better regulation is on the way. Dissidents, we must assume, who call for a lot less regulation and government interference as being a far better option presumably better understand the message upon leaving room 101 at the Better Regulation Task Force. A windowless sanctum deep at the centre of the Cabinet Offices in Whitehall.

A particular revised set of EU inspired rules is worthy of special note - The Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005. The HSE has helpfully published two books, ''Whole Body Vibration the control of vibration at work Regulations'' and its companion ''Hand-Arm vibration control Regulations''. The useful note in the FSB magazine explains that the manual details what needs to be done to reduce the risks of hand-arm vibration but fails to mention what occupation this applies to; Regulators at the heart of Europe possibly ?

Thus is how we are governed, at least we must thank the FSB for summarising the detail so well on behalf of our masters.


1 comment:

The Purple Scorpion said...

An absolutely key area that UKIP should be homing in on, well done :)