Public Administration Committee – First Report
Bad Language: The Use and Abuse of Official Language
Now that’s a report title and topic ripe for satire and mockery, but it’s actually a very accessible read and looks to be quite a useful piece of work. It also contains some gems, such as this:
There is still the occasional example of confusing and arcane legislative language, as this extract from the (now-repealed) Regulatory Reform Act 2001, attempting to explain the Act’s purpose, illustrates:
…to enable provision to be made for the purpose of reforming legislation which has the effect of imposing burdens affecting persons in the carrying on of any activity and to enable codes of practice to be made with respect to the enforcement of restrictions, requirements or conditions.
and telling details such as this:
HM Revenue and Customs estimates that unintentional errors made by taxpayers when completing their self-assessment forms result in around £300 million in underpaid tax each year (although it makes no estimate of the extent of errors leading to overpaid tax).