George Osborne will set out plans to cut taxes by extending the austerity programme and creating a permanently smaller State.
The Chancellor will say in a speech in Birmingham that Britain must face up to “hard truths” about the need to make more cuts and reforms to get a stable economy.
Less money being sucked up and being given to the idle is one definition of a smaller state.
Less interference in what people do as business would be another. For example, my recent experiences lead me to the idea that there will never again be people setting up small primary processors. Two men and a dog sized operations looking at new methods of, say, mining, or mineral extraction, or primary chemicals, that sort of thing.
The planning permissions required (and these are imposed from the EU level) just mean that no one can, as a tinkerer, afford to go through those processes. It’s not particularly the costs (£10k perhaps) but the time taken. 10 months minimum to get the permission to set up a processing line.
Now, there used to be a gt out clause. If you’re p[laying with under 100 tonnes a year you can just get on with it. No more: any quantity now comes under the same rules. Imagine: you’re scratching your head as to whether this stuff, processed in this manner, gets you what you want. Or would it be better to do it with that stuff, that way? Or perhaps this third method is better?
You can’t decide purely upon lab work, you’ve got to actually go and build a pilot machine. Process a few tonnes, a few hundred tonnes, see what happens. And for each and every change you have to wait 10 months for permission. No, seriously, if you were to change from using sulphuric acid to nitric, 10 month wait. Change from using the wastes of manganese processing to that of magnesium processing: 10 month wait.
Large companies can do this. Small ones cannot. And new ones simply won’t arise if this is the regime they face.
Let’s have a small state by all means but let’s not measure it purely by the amount of money sloshing around. Let’s measure it by the regulatory burden as well.