The harmful hidden hand of the EU exposed again

One of the many examples of the EU living in some odd parallel universe is revealed in EurActiv today, in an article titled ‘Starting a business is faster, cheaper, but challenges remain’.

The article tells us that the European Union ‘adopted the Small Business Act in 2008, with the intention of making it easier to start and run a business. Two years on, the EurActiv network takes a look at the achievements and challenges ahead’. But what of the failures? Strangely there is never any assessment of the failures, but more on that in a moment. It does seem the EU understands the importance of small businesses. As the article explains:

‘Small and medium-size businesses create 80% of new jobs in Europe. That means entrepreneurs and small and medium businesses will play a critical role as Europe recovers from the economic and financial crisis. So anything that hinders new businesses hinders growth.’

It is one thing to talk the talk, when it comes to the EU it is quite another to walk the walk. Because while the EU utters all the right noises, its actions undermine small businesses and are responsible for driving huge number of them to the wall.

As England Expects observed last week, a report from the Federation of Small Business (FSB) in Wales revealed that ‘Over 50% of failing businesses cite EU regulations as part of their downfall’:

‘In the EU, every year 1.7 million businesses fail and over 50% of these cite the regulatory burden as a significant factor.’

It was the same in 2009, only the data from the FSB that time also showed that 27% of businesses are put off from expanding due to red tape. Sadly the small business community, in complaining to the UK government, seems not to understand where their pain originates and who holds the levers of power. This is another example of how the hidden hand of the EU directly and negatively impacts the lives of people in this country.

So just how is the EU’s Small Business Act making it easier to run a small business when hundreds of thousands of them are buried in red tape and cannot survive because of the bureaucracy, time and effort needed to meet demands for reporting and compliance; and the money that needs to be spent adhering to rules made up by people who have mainly spent their careers in the public sector shielded from the reality of the business world? Let EurActiv explain that one rather than spewing out sanitised EU propaganda.

Big government and small business do not go together. The regulation factory is killing small business and with it our economy.

Update: Don’t take my word for it, just read the experience of a small business owner, Andy Baxter, in the comments. Thanks for your insights Andy.

1 Response to “The harmful hidden hand of the EU exposed again”


  1. 1 Andy Baxter 22/12/2010 at 2:56 pm

    As a small business owner (and member of FSB) I heartily endorse your comments AM

    I am weighed down with not only employment regulation that prevents me from hiring and firing when I need to, instead having to walk on eggshells for the most innocuous reasons, but also mind boggling compliance regulations in relation to the profession I have pursued for over 20 years now.

    Factor in taxation, not just corporation tax, but VAT (going up soon!) income tax and employee and employer NI as well as the extortionate fees and PI insurance I have to pay (I am forbidden to work without PI) all paid to these regulatory bodies (that are a waste of space and can only spend it on Christmas parties, 2.4 million since 2004 and on tea and biscuits sitting in cushy central heated offices in London thinking up ever more ways (all EU diktat driven) to stifle strangle and suffocate my opportunity to run a business) and you can perhaps get a measure of the frsutation and anger I and others feel.

    Just out of interest looking over my last year end accounts I was amazed to see that 28% of the expenses of running my business was in relation to compliance with these diktats and regulations! thats almost one third of these costs that my business incurs that could have been spent on a new employee, investment to infrastructure towards expansion, or even just improving my pay to reward the hard work I put in….

    How can all that cost be justified? what benefit is to my customers, my employees, my family…it serves no one but the parasites who live off it.

    Frankly sometimes I wonder why I pull my puds out every day just so these parasites or some sponging welfare junkie or cushy 13 weeks holiday a year teachers (who complain endlessly about how hard their jobs are YAWN!!!) or even MP’s with their gravy train perks and salary or all those other public sector employees….who do nowt but suck wealth from the economy instead of adding to it!

    In fact because of deliberate Government and EU targeting of higher earners on taxation and regulation I am actively and deliberately refusing to grow my business beyond a certain ceiling of turnover and profitability despite demand, thus denying people new jobs, thus denying others potential promotion, thus denying the exchequer of additonal revenue to spend on others less workshy than myself and thus denying myself and my family future security because I just don’t see the point in giving myself even less hours to spend with my family for exponentially less profit that will be snapped up in ever higher taxes and the costs of implementing increasing pointless regulation..

    Its called the Laffer curve and I’m a living example of it in action (as are countless thousands of other FSB members who feel the same)

    But don’t misunderstand me puhhh…leeeese…I’ve got no truck with paying a ‘fair’ share of taxation oh no in fact I consider it a privilege to be able to employ people, to be able to contribute to the wider community in taxes so that the genuinely needy (long term and short term) and the basic infrastucture of society can function…

    In fact I personally have given less to charity of late, and less of my time to such also in the form of fund raising activities…I haven’t wanted to do this, I just came to realise sadly, some time ago that I could not afford the money or the time…and you can guess why.

    But as has been amply demonstrated of late regarding our publicly funded transport infrastructure, and yet despite some of the highest central and local taxation in the developed world even these gluttinously funded clowns couldn’t put on a circus if they were stood in a tent!

    Until we get some people who’ve actually had a ‘real’ life outside of a short PR stint after Universtity before becoming a professional self serving politician actualy running this country, it will just get worse and worse….

    Laffer curve explained:

    http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2004/06/the-laffer-curve-past-present-and-future


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