UK: MP's Corporate Responsibility Bill would hit small firms
Date: 20 Jun 2003
The British Chambers of Commerce has attacked a parliamentary bill on corporate responsibility tabled by the Labour backbencher Linda Perham MP.
David Frost, Director General of the Chambers said: "This Bill, should it pass into law, presents a threat to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). It does not adequately take into account the huge burden that this would place on SMEs who are already struggling under £21bn of extra regulation since 1997.
"Instead of a force for good as the MPs in favour of this measure believe the Bill would be, it would cost jobs as firms fold under the strain."
The Bill is being promoted by a coalition of NGOs, including Friends of the Earth and the New Economics Foundation. It has been tabled initially as a discussion bill that has no chance of becoming law. Although there is a route for backbencher bills to be able to get onto the statute books (The Private Members' Bill) it is thought that the campaign in this case aims to influence the development of the existing company law review.
Frost added: "Good businesses involve themselves in their community already in many informal ways. Our work in fostering this involvement, as well as that by other groups, achieves far more than compulsion through legislation would ever achieve. This move towards regulation will be self-defeating and we urge MPs to stop it immediately."
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In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
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