The government has announced that every business will have to comply with new regulations when charging customers who pay by credit or debit card.
Meanwhile, how do you suppose the Coalition's deregulation agenda is coming along?
However irksome it might be to get charged when purchasing things, the trade that occurs as a consequence is usually to the advantage of both buyer and seller. And presumably if folk are not allowed to charge people for certain kinds of transactions, they'll be less inclined to offer those kinds of transaction. Who does that benefit?
I strongly suspect that today's regulations actually emanate from Brussels and an EU rule heading our way. And because ministers have no choice in the matter, they prefer instead to present it to us as their initiative to give customers protection.
Remember that next time ministers tell us about cutting red tape.
Incidentally, if government only wants businesses to charge punters the "at cost" price of credit and debit transactions, perhaps the rest of us should insist we only pay the "at cost" price of public services, without all those overhead charges officialdom adds to the tax bill ....
"A revolutionary text ... right up there with the Communist manifesto" - Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
Printed by Douglas Carswell of 61 Station Road, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex