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Obviously I am not running the Treasury, and I am not the Chancellor of the Exchequer. [Hon. Members: "Not yet."] That is too kind.
I contacted the chief executive of the building society I mentioned and asked for an explanation, but I sometimes wonder whether decisions are made at a lower level of management and without any real thought or understanding. We heard a statement earlier about the directors of banks. I should like to know whether all directors are fully informed of the way in which their bank is running its business, and whether they realise that they are putting the squeeze on businesses which, although sound, cannot afford to make higher repayments at this stage of the economic cycle while they are also trying to stay afloat and keep people employed.
Much has already been said about the increase in regulation. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, small firms spend seven hours a week dealing with red tape. I welcome the Government's decision to introduce a "one in, one out" system. I do not know whether other Members have been receiving surveys, but I received one recently asking what law I would like to introduce. Actually, I do not want to introduce any more laws. I should like to see fewer laws. I should like laws and regulations to be simplified, both for businesses and for individuals.
Members have mentioned the gold-plating of European Union legislation, which goes on all the time. I sincerely hope that following the change of Government, we shall see an instruction that regulations are no longer to be gold-plated.
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