Simplified regulations cutting business costs
Measures aimed at reducing the administrative burden of complying with business regulations are now saving UK firms significant sums each year.
According to the Better Regulation Executive’s annual report, moves to cut down on red tape and unnecessary paperwork, and the use of new technologies as a way of making it easier for businesses to implement regulations, have cut the cost of compliance by £3 billion.
As part of a four-year programme to alleviate the administrative demands of business rules, the BRE has already introduced 280 changes to the UK’s regulatory regime over the last 12 months.
The report says the reforms are on target to cut the cost of compliance by £3.3 billion before next May.
Most of the savings have been achieved through simplifying the rules or through the introduction of technologies that save on time and effort.
The Environment Agency, for example, has transformed 41 separate rules on securing waste disposal permits into a single system.
In October, the government announced a target to reduce the regulatory burden on business by £6.5 billion a year by 2015. This would include a further cut of £1.5 billion in admin costs and a £5 billion annual reduction in policy costs (those that businesses must bear in order to deliver the policy aims of the regulations).
Ian Lucas, minister for business and regulatory reform, said: “Simplification is making a real difference to the everyday lives of businesses, helping to make things as simple as possible, saving more than £8 million a day, every day.
“Individual measures may look small but it is the overall impact that adds up to real savings. And support from the business community has helped make sure that savings to businesses are felt on the ground.”
Mr Lucas went on to say that the programme also shows real change across government in its attitude towards regulation.
“Delivering the right business environment to promote growth relies on creating a flexible regulatory framework that minimises costs to business but ensures essential protections and rights are in place,” the Minister added. “Better regulation, with simplification at its core, is making that possible.”