Government axes retail red tape

Published on Thursday, 28 July 2011 11:00
Posted by Scott Buckler

Vince Cable announces plans to scrap or simplify more than 160 regulations that currently apply to retailers and their customers (July 28th)

The proposals are the first results from the Red Tape Challenge and will see significant changes to legislation that will make life easier for businesses and promote personal freedoms.

Comments from the public and business, along with a vigorous process of challenge within Whitehall, on the 257 regulations under consideration have led to proposals to:


  • Consolidate more than 12 pieces of overlapping consumer rights law with a single new piece of legislation.
  • Simplify regulations that retailers said were particularly burdensome, such as age verification on some restricted goods, and licensing for low-risk products such as fly spray and toilet cleaner.
  • Abolish symbolic cases of heavy-handed intervention, such as shops needing a alcohol licence to sell chocolate liqeurs.
  • Remove redundant legislation, such as the war-time Trading With The Enemy Act and its 98 linked regulations, and rules around the safety of pencils and prams will also be abolished.

Announcing the results of the Retail red tape challenge, Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

We have to roll back the number of rules and regulations that our businesses have to deal with if we are to create the right conditions for sustainable economic growth.

"We have heard these promises by successive Governments before but these first proposals from the Red Tape Challenge show that we’re serious about doing that and we are making real progress.

“But this is just the start. We still need the help of business and the public to make the rest of the Red Tape Challenge a success and free businesses to compete, create jobs and unleash a private sector-led recovery.”

The Government has decided not to change legislation covering Sunday trading and to keep in place other rules covering areas such as hallmarking of goods.

You can read a summary of the proposals, alongside an edited selection of your comments, on the Red Tape Challenge website.


Source: BIS

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