Speech to Parliament Oct 25th 2011
Debate; Agenda for new Skills and Jobs.
We've been here before. Remember the Lisbon Agenda, "The most competitive knowledge based economy in the world" leading to more and better jobs. This 10 year program started in 2000, where is it?
It failed, of course, simply because you keep on thinking that you can solve a problem by central decree. Sorry, does not work that way. Such programs need a written plan with rules and regs, and there we go, straight into the red-tape jungle.
If you could only understand that. Cut the red tape and all the restrictive regulations and let people get on with what they do best, making things and selling them.
Once again I must remind you that big business can cope with red tape, they can afford compliance officers and well paid lawyers to bail them out if they make a mistake. SMEs, which employ half the work force, do not have those resources, so when they get into trouble they fold, another one or two jobs go and fewer youngsters taken on to learn a trade.
Take this morning's farce in the vote on tyres for motor vehicle and trailers. Its not really a farce, its another head ache for the motor trade. For how many small garages will this be the last straw and go under?
This whole agenda is another "one size fits all" idea, or rather, "one size that fits no one". The Euro is one of those, now falling apart before your eyes and all you can think of is to try more of the same. And the first casualties of that disaster are, of course, the SMEs, and more jobs lost.
Derek Clark Strasbourg 25thOct 2011