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Financial redress for administrative incompetence

Comment 5th July 2010

At the moment, pretty much any statute includes a Penalties chapter, which covers how much they are going to fine us for non-compliance.  I should like to see many of these removed, OR a system where the equivalent of fines can be levied b members of the public against departments which do not handle their business efficiently and competently.


What about £50 for failing to respond to a letter within 28 days, £250 for quoting an incorrect statute and so on?  Up to £5,000 for making a wrongful analysis of circumstances leading to financial loss by the member of the public and unlimited penalties (including fines on individual government employees) for imposing a fine that is later overturned?

Why does this matter?

Government thesedays approaches everyone who deals with it an apparently hostile spirit.  Pretty much any official form I come across these days includes some kind of threat about what will happen if I fail to treat it with the utmost respect and gravity.  Firstly that kind of agression just makes me want to start a quarrel with any individual I deal with, and secondly, the fiercer the threat, the greater the probability that I will have to put up with sloth, obfuscation and incompetence when following up the form.

Not only have we this daft nanny state, but it isn't even a pleasant nanny to deal with.

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