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Red tape progress under scrutiny

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Plans to reduce the amount of red tape facing businesses have been called into question following a ministerial admission that so far no regulations have yet to be dropped.

The Coalition Government has pledged itself to a ‘one-in, one-out’ system of business regulation that, as from 1 October last year, would see no new rule introduced until an existing regulation had been replaced.

The aim is to cut the cost to businesses of administrative compliance by 5 per cent annually.

In response to a Parliamentary question, Ed Davey, the Better Regulation minister, conceded that the Government has yet to “revoke any significant regulatory measures”.

Bur Mr Davey did say that the Government was making progress on the issue.

The Minister added: “We have launched a review of employment law, and are conducting a major fundamental review scrutinising the overall stock of Business, Innovation and Skills regulation, alongside legacy measures inherited from the previous administration.

“The Home Office are leading on the Protection of Freedoms Bill due to be announced in February, which will include a number of proposed repeals of primary and secondary legislation that have been identified as unnecessary.”

His assertion that advances were in the pipeline was backed up by a Department of Business spokesman: “The Government has made significant progress in slowing the introduction of new regulation. Since the introduction of the one-in, one-out approach in October last year only nine new measures across government have been introduced, all of which were approved before the rule came into effect.

“The focus of the new approach by the Government is to drive down the costs of regulation on business which is why the Government has undertaken nine important reviews of existing and planned regulations, including employment law, food and farming and health and safety.

“The Government will shortly publish its statement of planned forthcoming regulation, which will set out a clear picture of the impact of one-in, one-out including the balance of costs and benefits to business.”