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Bootleggers and Baptists – explaining the characteristics of government regulation


Because I am today a member of a small Baptist church, I feel I can get away with posting this great video which is a little unkind about us. There may be some people at my church who don’t drink but I’m not aware of anyone having a theological objection to alcohol sales on a Sunday and lobbying for a ban. I guess the author of the video has other experiences. The video explains why government regulation tends to have […]

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Margaret Thatcher nationalised regulation of the City


For City AM, Prof Philip Booth writes, Thatcher changed the City forever but Big Bang isn’t the whole story: Let’s be absolutely clear: in general, the 1980s was not a period of financial deregulation. Insider trading was made illegal in 1980. The life insurance industry, which had been almost free of regulation for over 100 years from 1870, was re-regulated from 1980 to 1982. Bank deposit insurance was introduced in 1979. The sale of investment and insurance products came under […]

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Tonight: Bank of Dave is back


Dave Fishwick is a remarkable man. A self-made entrepreneur, he knows good business builds up society. So when he realised the banks were failing both savers and productive businesses, he set up Burnley Savings and Loans as a step towards a “tiny, tiny bank”. Dave personally guarantees customers’ savings out of his own assets. He provides a 5% return. He makes productive loans to local businesses he gets to know personally. But the Establishment doesn’t know how, perhaps whether, to […]

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Interest rate swap meeting


Yesterday, I attended the latest meeting of the All Party Group on Interest Rate Swap Mis-selling, which affects a number of local businesses. Both the products and the process of clearing up after them are causing a great deal of distress and difficulty. As well as giving direct support to constituents on this issue, I made an intervention in the recent debate called by the Group’s chairmen, my colleague Guto Bebb. You can read the full debate here.  I said: […]

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EU-HSE farce update


On 4 Dec, I explained how a regulatory farce between the EU and the HSE was wasting millions of taxpayers’ money while costing business millions in lost sales. I have now had an update. Thankfully, the Secretary of State has understood the position. Iain Duncan Smith has given instructions which should see this dealt with promptly. The next stage is to deal with two crucial issues: why the HSE couldn’t see the problem they were causing in the first place and […]

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The EU vs the HSE – another expensive regulatory farce


Yesterday, I heard from a local businessman about the kafkaesque nightmare that has been inflicted upon his industry by the EU – made far, far worse by our own bureaucracy. The firm manufactures water-disinfection systems used in hospitals and other health facilities. The EU has just imposed another round of over-regulation on that particular industry. The new set of rules — the Biocidal Products Regulations – are flawed but what concerns me is the new ban on the use of copper as a […]

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Bank on Dave – in Parliament tomorrow


Tomorrow in Parliament, I’m hosting a meeting with Dave Fishwick and MPs to discuss his struggle to start a local, responsible bank in touch with its savers and borrowers. The Channel 4 documentary is here and this Russia Today video gives an overview: The FSA have declined to attend but I’m hoping that MPs hearing from Dave will redouble efforts to persuade the Government to lower barriers to entry in banking. If you would like to ask your MP to […]

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Help cut business regulation


As a way of supporting The Red Tape Challenge, the Government has created a new campaign called Focus on Enforcement. It will focus on working to ensure that we do not gold plate EU law and that we avoid British business being disadvantaged in relation to EU competitors. The Government want you to tell them about your experiences, both good and bad, in the area of business regulation. The best ideas and suggestions for review will be chosen for further investigation. In […]

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In the House today: Financial Services and Prudential Requirements


This afternoon an EU document relating to Financial Services and Prudential Requirements was placed before the House of Commons. It was not debated: debate took place in Committee last week. I attended, though I was not formally assigned to the Committee. The EU’s proposals amount to further European Union encroachment and unnecessary regulation: the document, rather than teaching granny to suck eggs, teaches bankers to make loans. It is fundamentally misguided. The EU’s preoccupation with attempting to regulate away the […]

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The Government has more work to do against regulation


The British Chambers of Commerce has published a report showing that the Coalition still has a long way to go to tame the state’s mania for excessive regulation. Red Tape Challenged? reveals that 42% of new regulations are not covered by the Coalition’s One-In, One-out (OIOO) rule for regulations. This is because they concern tax or the environment or come from the European Union. Such a high figure – if it continues – will make a mockery of the Coalition’s aim to be the first administration to […]

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