Bureaucracy is one of the reasons for slow growth:
Britain’s £16bn plans for its first nuclear plant in a generation could be delayed or derailed by an EU investigation into possible illegal state support, which is likely to be launched within days.
European Commission officials are expected to publish a strongly-worded list of potential breaches of state aid laws in the funding arrangements for the Hinkley Point project, in an initial decision as early as Wednesday.
Under a deal struck by the Government with French energy giant EDF in October, UK energy bill-payers would be committed to paying billions of pounds in subsidies for the plant in Somerset for 35 years.
The EC could reject or approve the deal outright but is expected instead to launch an investigation that could take until summer 2015, derailing EDF’s plans to take a final investment decision in July 2014.
Now, whether it is state aid or not is a matter for the rules. Which is fine: I’m not arguing that there should be no rules on such things. But what in buggery is going to make it take 18 months to work it out? Somewhere in Brussels there is a little book, within which is the definition of state aid. We need one person to read the book and then read the deal and then decide whether the deal is legal or not.
This should take even a bureaucrat perhaps one long weekend. So what the fuck are they going to be doing for the other 545 days? Polishing their knobs or their expense accounts?
Hang the lot of them say I….