E-business groups welcome damning report on government targets


E-business groups welcome damning report on government targets

Bruce Ackland
Business organisations have welcomed a highly critical report on the Government's e-commerce agenda, published yesterday by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

The report warned that the Government would fail to meet its target of one million small businesses trading online by next year, and called for an end to broad, generalised targets.

Roger Till, director of external affairs for the e-business trade association, the e-centre, backed the conclusions of the BCC's report and called for more input from users on e-commerce initiatives.

"The Government's obsession with targets is certainly not very helpful. Implementation is the key to successful e-commerce and not deadlines," he told CW360.com.

"The Government must start talking to users about these initiatives and stop concentrating on just getting the views of IT suppliers," he concluded.

The BCC report's calls for the abolition of the IR35 tax measure and the development of more e-commerce friendly tax regimes won considerable support.

Richard Barron, head of the policy unit at the Institute of Directors, said: "Certainly IR35 should be replaced immediately with something more targeted. I think this is a good call, but it is not an easy issue. You cannot just abolish IR35 and forget about the whole situation."

Barron also hedged his bets on government targets. "I would not completely endorse the scrapping of e-targets," he said. "They do serve a purpose but certainly there needs to be more thought put into them."

The Department for Trade and Industry said it had no intention of doing away with its current e-targets. "We will continue to set challenging targets and help UK e-businesses get to the future first," a spokesman told CW360.com.

Further information
Government will miss SME e-business target
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