Real progress in red tape reform

Published on Monday, 26 September 2011 12:05
Posted by Scott Buckler

The Statement of New Regulation published today shows that the costs of business regulations have been capped during 2011, with a gross reduction in costs of over £3 billion

Today's Statement highlights:

  • The reduction in regulatory costs to business from deregulatory measures exceeds the costs from new regulations.
  • Deregulatory measures introduced has tripled in the last 6 months, up from eight to 25.
  • Nine Government departments have reported a reduction in regulatory costs to business during 2011.

Every Government Department is publishing a summary of the regulatory changes they intend to introduce before December 2011.

Some of the simplifications include:

  • Making it easier for companies to update information on public record.
  • Allowing patents to be looked at online.
  • Reducing the likelihood of some commercial disputes in the construction sector, lowering adjudication costs to main contractors and sub-contractors.

Business minister Mark Prisk said:

“During 2011 we have made real progress in cutting the costs of red tape for businesses. As well as the £3 billion saving for employers from the new indexation of pensions, we have seen a capping of other regulatory costs, and a substantial rise in the numbers of deregulatory measures.

This is an encouraging sign that the culture in Whitehall is beginning to change. People are beginning to realise that regulation must be the last resort, not the first option.

There is much more to do - especially so that businesses really notice the difference - but this first year is very promising."

Reducing red tape

The first Statement of New Regulation was published in April and set out the Government’s plans to reduce the cost to business from domestic regulation. The One-in, One-out programme covers UK based regulation.

Government continues to work hard to reduce the flow of regulation from Europe. The extended timescale for agreeing and implementing EU legislation means the results of this work will take time to have an impact on costs to business.

The Red Tape Challenge is running until 2013, designed for the public and business to tell government which rules are working and which are not. And next month the Government will propose new rules to reduce financial reporting requirements for small businesses. This will allow more small companies and subsidiaries to decide whether or not to have an audit.

The Government is also proposing to introduce legislation next year to exempt from mandatory audit most subsidiary companies whose parent is prepared to guarantee their debts.

Source: BIS

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