Nick Clegg, the deputy Prime Minister, has called for HMRC to substantially reduce the number of visits and enquiries it undertakes each year, in the coalition governments bid to lighten the administrative load on those businesses trying to negotiate the treacherous economic tide.
At a gathering of small business leaders in east London, Mr Clegg told them that “Regulators need to understand that their job is to make your life easier, not harder” and that HMRC, just like other government regulators, will be expected to participate in the coalition's goal of relieving small businesses from excessive paperwork and red tape.
The Deputy PM also mentioned that as part of the culture change, which includes the Cabinet Office's Red Tape Challenge, which allows voters the opportunity to suggest rules that should be abolished as obsolete or over-complex, HMRC and similar bodies, such as the Environment Agency and Health and Safety Executive, could have their annual contact with businesses restricted.
According to Mr Clegg, regulators should not be allowed to turn up at people's doors whenever and how often they want. He suggested that the number of inspections should be limited to, say, two a year. If he was specifically talking about Revenue inspections most people would agree that is still two too many!