In a clear demonstration of central government’s failure to comprehend what joined up government is about, the Department for Business is resisting attempts to up date the law in respect of scrap metal dealers. Despite the epidemic of metal threats we are currently suffering, these bureaucrats are quoting the government’s drive to reduce red tape as their reason for resisting this desperately needed change to an outdated act.
No doubt there has been some form of lobbying from those in the trade, underpinning this stance by the department. However, unless these civil servants have been living on the other side of the moon for the last 12 months, it’s difficult to understand how they can ignore the criminal activity that has seen war memorial desecrated, trains stopped in their tracks and hospital operation cancelled. Reports of damage to churches and other public building, as well as private houses appear in the press almost daily, demonstrating a need for urgent action.
I wonder if it isn’t time for the taxman to take a hand in this and remind ministers that there’s an nice little earner to be had from finding out exactly how much money changes hands in the mainly cash in hand world of scrap metal dealing? I doubt whether too many scrap metal dealers would be able to wine and dine the HMRC officials in the same way as the likes of Vodaphone and Goldman Sachs have been doing, so we should actually see the full amount of tax being paid, once the legislation takes effect.