There is a real possibility that Repeal Day turns out to be a stunt after all. Getting rid of thousands of redundant legislative instruments is really neither here nor there. If they are not in operation and not being implemented, getting rid of them is the equivalent of obsessive housekeeping and nothing more.
The key is to remove the main impediments to the efficient and free operation of markets subject to a minimum of well-directed regulations.
But now the news comes that the Abbott government is caving in on altering the absolutely absurd and useless gender equality reporting requirements. Here was your big test, Josh – and you have failed.
Apart from the surface appeal of promoting gender equality, you only have to look at the reporting requirements (which no one does, particularly not journalists or senior executives) to know this is a complete joke. Even if a company tried to fill out the form – note that lodging the form online is regarded as streamlining (PLEASE) – the categories and questions are so ambiguous and badly designed that the results are just tosh.
And can I remind everyone that we have had gender equality reporting requirements for over 20 years and THERE IS NO EVIDENCE THAT THEY HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE. Indeed, this is made manifest by those who support more and more reporting who also claim growing gender discrimination. This just makes no sense.
And, by the way, discrimination is a strong word to use. We have the Anti-Discrimination Act to deal with proven cases of discrimination. What the Workplace Gender Equality Agency does is just complete mush, including the utterly laughable suggestion that it will now provide CONFIDENTIAL benchmarking reports to companies written by bureaucrats who have never worked in private businesses. PLEASE, PLEASE. Someone has to spare us for all this.
Here is the news:
The Abbott government’s red day repeal day will not include gender reporting requirements.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott plans to lighten the nation’s “biggest bonfire of regulations” on Wednesday with a promised red tape cull.
The government wants to get rid of 10,000 regulations, putting it about three-quarters of the way to meeting a $1 billion target.
Bills will be introduced to parliament on Wednesday with the expectation of passing the lower house next week.
But Josh Frydenberg, parliamentary secretary to the prime minister with responsibility for deregulation, said proposed changes to gender reporting would not be included in the repeal.
The overhaul has received a lukewarm response from business – something Mr Frydenberg acknowledged.
“We’re going to continue to consult – there has been a lot of disquiet in the business sector about the implications of the gender reporting,” he told ABC radio.
The previous Labor government introduced gender reporting requirements for companies with more than 100 employees.
But the coalition wants to increase that threshold to 1000 employees, and give companies the option to have their data kept confidential.
The changes would mean only 700 of the largest businesses would be subject to gender reporting requirements, compared to 13,000 under the current system.