Press release: Government going further to cut red tape by £10 billion


Comprehensive measures that will help deliver the government’s commitment to cut a further £10 billion of red tape were unveiled today (3 March 2016) at the BCC annual conference by Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

The UK already has the lowest burden of regulation in the G7, according to the World Economic Forum. Businesses from across the country have been responding to the Cutting Red Tape review programme to identify further areas in need of reform.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

This government is delivering on its commitment to free firms from £10 billion of heavy-handed over-regulation and build a more productive Britain. Hundreds of businesses responded to our Cutting Red Tape reviews and we are taking decisive action based on their experiences.

Whenever we need to introduce new rules, we will consider their impact and make savings elsewhere. Through the Enterprise Bill, we are extending the scope of our deregulation target to cover the actions of regulators, going further than ever before to tackle troublesome red tape.

A One-in, Two-out rule was introduced by the previous administration, which was the first in recent history to reduce the overall burden of regulation on business. The move to One-in, Three-out for new government legislation raises the bar and will help drive delivery of the £10 billion target.

Results from the Cutting Red Tape reviews into the Care, Energy and Waste sectors highlight a range of issues that businesses face when dealing with regulation and its enforcement and implementation.

Actions agreed by government and regulators to help ease these burdens include:

  • the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will publish new business-focused guidance into the definition of waste and revised guidance for the environmental permitting regime. Delays and unnecessary burdens associated with the permitting system cost legitimate businesses millions of pounds each year.

  • the Department of Health and the Department for Communities and Local Government will lead a programme of work to make sure that the multiple interventions made by public bodies that deal with care homes are targeted, proportionate and co-ordinated. It will seek to make it clear what each agency does, and why.

The review found that residential care homes spend roughly 16 days a year dealing with inspections and 25 days a year handling information requests, and that unco-ordinated activity could lead to more paperwork at the expense of time spent caring for residents. For this reason, removing duplication matters both for residents and for the effectiveness of care providers.

  • the Department of Energy and Climate Change will consult on whether to update regulation on energy storage, which could benefit consumers, businesses and the environment. The review found examples of businesses being charged twice, both for generating and storing energy.

A new Cutting Red Tape review launched today will look into unnecessary burdens placed on businesses by local authorities, from inefficient complaint procedures to repeated visits and inspections. The review aims to save businesses and local authorities time and money.

The Enterprise Bill, currently before parliament, will extend the £10 billion target for cutting red tape to include the actions of independent regulators and increase transparency through annual reporting requirements. Regulators, businesses and stakeholders can respond to the open consultation on which regulators to bring into scope.

Notes to editors

  1. The UK has the lowest burden of regulation in the G7: World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2015-16
  2. Open Consultation: Business impact target, growth duty and Small Business Appeals Champion
  3. The Cutting Red Tape reviews can be found on the Cutting Red Tape website
  4. Further details of the £10 billion target have been published today (3 March 2016), as required under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015.

Original Article