STUC challenges Scottish Chambers of Commerce: put up or shut up on red-tape!

March 26th 2009

Speaking as the Scottish Chambers of Commerce publishes its annual ‘Burdens Barometer’, Stephen Boyd, Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) Assistant Secretary said:

“Given that the current economic crisis is the result of weak and ineffective regulation in the financial sector, it is a somewhat strange time for the Chambers to proceed with publishing its ‘Burdens Barometer’.

“Nevertheless, it really is about time that the Chambers were specific about the ‘burdens’ they want to see go. Their pronouncements suggest that their perfect business environment is a free and unregulated Scotland. Do they mean a Scotland where employers are:

· Free to jeopardise workers’ health and safety?

· Free from the National Minimum Wage?

· Free from equal pay and family friendly legislation?

· Free to sprawl, despoil and pollute?

“The STUC will always support measures to assist employers comply with clear and effective regulation. We also recognise that regulation must adapt to keep pace with the changing economy. But all should be clear: regulation is absolutely necessary if Scotland really does aspire to

· Sustainable economic development

· Healthy and safe workplaces for all

· Fair and equal pay for all

“The ‘Burdens Barometer’ is a mechanical attempt to quantify the costs of introducing and administering a particular law with no reference whatsoever made to offsetting benefits. To listen to the Chambers you would assume that Scotland is over-regulated by international standards when, in fact, the opposite is true as recent experience in the financial sector testifies”.

ENDS

Notes

The UK currently sits 6th out of 181 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings – a composite indicator looking at levels of employment and product market regulation, taxation, enforcing contracts etc.

Contact

Stephen Boyd 0141 337 8100

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