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Unenforceable legislation

9th July 1976, Page 7
9th July 1976
Page 7
Page 7, 9th July 1976 — Unenforceable legislation
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

The climb-down by the Inland Revenue on the taxation of subsistence issue is just one more example of bureaucrats' producing unenforceable law. It has taken time and money to produce the law and as much again to rescind it, because although the next and hopefully the last meeting on the subject takes place later this month it is by now clear that the Inland Revenue is not interested in pursuing the affair.

In the meantime there has been acrimony between employers, drivers, unions and trade associations. A little thought in advance could have avoided the stage and the eventual embarrassment to IR.

This, of course, is not the only example, in recent times, of unenforceable law. That was the sentiment of at least two chairmen of Traffic Commissioners in their reports recently. The Yorkshire area chairman reported that psv drivers' hours were unenforceable because they were not required to keep the detailed records of goods vehicles' drivers. The onus for enforcement has largely fallen on operators who have to be relied on to police each other's activities. The South Eastern area's report describes this practice as "unsatisfactory to say the least." Of course it is.

There is too much law; a little tidying up is called for.


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