Editorial: fingers crossed for crocodiles!

Krokodill riigikogu laual.

PHOTO: Peeter Langovits

No wonder the experiences are sceptical regarding the next try to fight bureaucracy. All it takes is to go watch some classic BBC «Yes Minister» clips.  

Even in times Soviet, how abundant were the slogans on battling bureaucracy. Again and again, stories come up in even the most successful of nations how applying for all sorts of licences and excruciating reporting serve to suffocate business initiative and scare of those who would try.  

Glancing back at Estonian tries to cut red tape in recent history, Commerce and Industry Chamber chief Mait Palts thus told Postimees: «The most remarkable examples date back over a decade as administrative load linked to VAT Act was assessed and when the result emerged no-one dared to publish it – it was so vast.» Mr Palts continued: «We have brought such proposals before, for years, and usually where they end up is some officials will nicely explain why it is needed and we will have nothing much to say after that. They will always find some reason.»

Nevertheless, there are the bright spots. Like the speed with which we do our private taxes – online, and in a minute. While in some other nations they have to hire a consultant. Or the widespread use of digital signature which saves us a working week per each employee.

Thus, the main thing might not be to sack the largest numbers of officials possible. Rather, it’s to spare us of needless paperwork. Thus, would the SMEs have it simpler to do their taxes, the threshold to go into business would come down in a welcome way.

Obviously, there’s a place for some sort of order and reporting, and both society and business need statistics. Regrettably, to fall into Statistical Office sample is for the poor businessman as some negative lottery where «winner» pays by loss of time and energy.

So let’s keep our fingers crossed that this time the cuts will come to pass and yield some reporting ease. Do succeed, please!