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Government launches website aimed at cutting red tape

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The Government has asked the business community to identify which regulations it feels should be scrapped as part of a campaign to reduce red tape.

To help businesses pick out those rules that impose the greatest administrative burden, the Government has set up what it has called its red tape challenge website.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron has vowed that the Coalition will be the first government to leave office having cut the amount of business regulation rather than having increased it.

The Government insists that the website will give businesses a chance to have their say on regulations that affect them, whether it’s to speak up for well designed rules that are there to protect or to challenge badly designed or badly thought through regulations that are an unnecessary burden.

The ambition is to tackle the stock of some 21,000 statutory rules.

The first area to go under the microscope will be retail. Then every few weeks a new set of regulations, organised around different business sectors, will open on the website for anyone to comment on.

Once a sector has closed, government departments will have three months to explain why a regulation is still required, or it will be scrapped.

The first five sectors will be: retail (open for four weeks beginning April 7); hospitality, food and drink (open for two weeks beginning May 5); road transportation (open for two weeks beginning May 19); fisheries, marine enterprises and inland waterways (open for two weeks beginning June 2nd); and manufacturing (open for two weeks beginning June 16).

The campaign will also address six broader areas that affect all businesses and are open throughout the whole of the campaign, and include: employment law, pensions, company law, equalities, health and safety and environmental legislation.

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, said: “The retail sector is a key part of our economy and essential to driving private sector-led growth. It also has to deal with hundreds of different regulations covering everything from employment law and health and safety through to consumer protection and the sale of offensive weapons.

“Some of these regulations are there for good reasons, protecting employees, businesses or the public. But some serve no purpose at all.

“That’s why this campaign is different to the de-regulation drives that have gone before. The onus is now on my fellow Ministers and I to justify a regulation, rather than on you telling us to do something about it.

“I urge businesses to visit the website and take a few minutes to tell us the regulations they deal with on a daily basis. This is their chance to give us the evidence we need to remove the unnecessary bureaucracy that stops businesses from growing.”

The website can be found at