I meet regularly with business owners and their representative bodies across the county. Time and again, they raise the issue of compliance and regulation, and how time consuming and expensive it is, due to the numerous State bodies involved, and the lack of joined up thinking in terms of the hurdles they are asked to jump.
This isn’t about lower standards, it’s about smart regulation, and making it as easy, as quick and as cost effective as possible for our businesses to be in compliance. For example, a Wicklow business told me just last week that they had counted 17 separate permits and regulatory hurdles they had to cross. There’s obviously a huge opportunity to streamline all of this, to use modern web-based systems, and to see compliance not just from the perspective of the State, but from that of the businesses.
The Minister has agreed to develop this issue further with me and I look forward to liaising with the Department with a view to conducting a systematic review of compliance across all sectors, and reducing the compliance burden where possible. I would like to acknowledge the very open mind the Minister has taken on this issue, and see it as a healthy example of what ‘new politics’ can be – cooperation across politics to ensure the best solutions.