I have submitted the following:
- The HMRC’s description of their online forms for self assessment taxation as software.
I feel that the use of the word “software”, while not technically inaccurate, suggests that software has to be downloaded and run on the users’ computer. This confusion is amplified by the fact that the HMRC directly compare their “software”, which is in reality an online form, with commercial software which has to be purchased and installed on the users’ computer.
One cannot easily find out that the HMRC “software” is in fact simply an online form until after signing up for the service.
I believe that if this was corrected then more people would fill in their self-assessment tax forms online, which ought, assuming rational systems being in place, reduce the costs of collecting tax. I have written to the HMRC many times on this point. I have never had a reply, but they have on occasion started using the term “online software” perhaps as a minor, insufficient, effort to act on the suggestion.
- Anti-Social Behaviour; this is too often used to refer to real crimes (such as driving scooters without helmets, licenses or insurance) as well as criminal damage. It results in such offences being unreasonably treated together with perfectly legal and normal things some consider problematic such as youths gathering outside shops on their way home from school.
- Specially Trained Units; non-firearms police officers who are trained in the use of the TASERs which they are soon to be issued with are described as “Specially Trained Units”, often abbreviated to STUs. This is misleading as it suggests these officers have had more training with TASER and experience of situations where force might need to be used than is the case. STUs are individual normal response police officers who have been issued a TASER and given a few hours training on its use. (more…)
- Laid before Parliament; this process is not what it sounds like. Having secondary legislation “laid before Parliament” does not mean it is discussed, debated and approved by both houses of Parliament. Often government ministers and departments imply that is what it does mean, and this is very misleading. In practice though there is no debate, and “laid before Parliament” doesn’t even mean published and drawn attention to on the Parliamentary website. As far as I can tell the usual procedure is for the “Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee” [A House of Lords Committee, with no Commons equivalent] to determine ” that the special attention of the House need not be drawn to [the secondary legislation] ” which is then considered approved without debate or a vote. There does not appear to be an accessible procedure for MPs to force a debate and vote. (I’ve raised this with my MP)
- Regional Assembly; suggests a body of elected individuals, however many members are unelected.
- Television Licence; “Television Licences” are required for all equipment capable of watching live TV, this now includes many computers, mobile phones and other devices so the term is now out of line with technology. (more…)
- Investment; the Government far too often uses the term “Investment” when in-fact what is being described is spending.