Monday, May 13, 2002 has picked up on the story of mandating online filing, just as The Register did (see 11/5/2002). Bit of a shame really that there is a negative slant on this. Ultimately, by 2010 (8 full years from now), does anyone really think that the Internet will not have changed things dramatically. In 1997 I seem to remember less than 5% of people were online, now it's 45%. Can you imagine a conversation with A.G. Bell saying "don't worry Alex, you're doing the right thing, in 100 years they'll be passing laws in various countries to make people stop using your phone when they are driving." "Driving?" he'd have said, "driving what?" ... 2010 is far off ... our job is to make these services easy to use, simple to complete, automated for payroll systems (just like now with Sage, Rutherford-Webb and others) and so on. The decision point should be "Why would I not want to file by web?" ... but along with targets for take-up and targets for online achievement must come some incentives and some reverse incentives. Inertia is a tough thing to overcome. But if we want real improvement, then there must be mass ... and mass takes time, effort, energy and (force/acceleration amongst other things).

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