News National Joe Hockey’s pizza fury (and it’s not about anchovies)
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Joe Hockey’s pizza fury (and it’s not about anchovies)

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Eating pizza with friends recently made Joe Hockey mad – and it had nothing to do with anchivoes or tinned pineapple.

The Treasurer has used a frustrating experience at a pizza restaurant to make a political point about excessive regulation.

Mr Hockey was officially launching new research on Wednesday that shows that business is just as bad, if not worse, than government in imposing regulations.

The Deloitte report estimates the economy and productivity is being choked by $250 billion of red tape each year.

Of that, $155 billion is self-imposed regulation set by the private sector.

In some cases, the self-imposed rules were just “dumb”, according to Gerhard Vorster, Deloitte’s chief strategy officer and co-author of the report.

Mr Hockey described red tape as a “handbrake” on the economy.

“When excessive red tape lowers productivity it ultimately lowers growth and the standard of living for all Australians,” he told an audience in Canberra.

Mr Hockey used a personal experience to emphasise his point.

When he, his kids and family friends were at a local pizza restaurant they tried to push two outside tables together.

An apologetic owner said that wasn’t allowed under council regulations.

Mr Hockey then went inside to get another chair for the eight-strong group.

The owner told him that wasn’t allowed either because the limit was seven chairs.

“That’s when I exploded,” the treasurer said.

“I actually tracked down the local mayor … and I think the whole suburb heard the conversation.”

The launch of the report coincided with the government’s second “repeal day”, where it is ditching nearly 1000 unnecessary pieces of legislation and regulations covering 7200 pages.

The government says it is saving $2.1 billion in compliance costs for individuals, businesses and the non-for-profit sector.

– With AAP