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Thousands log on to red tape website

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The Government has said that its new website aimed at reducing the level of business red tape has already attracted 6,000 suggestions on ways of tackling the burden of regulation compliance.

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

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 first area to go under the microscope is 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.

The first five sectors are: 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.

Initial responses to the retail sector has been positive, the Government said.

So far 6,000 ideas have been lodged on the site and have included suggestions on simplifying the range of age restrictions on buying products and on amending weights and measures regulations.

Dr Kevin Hawkins, the retail sector champion, said: “The response so far has been outstanding, but make no mistake this is an opportunity that is too good to miss.

“For the first time the Government wants to hear from those at the sharp end of the complex, sometimes overwhelming, amount of regulation. Tell us about those rules that really waste your time and money or better still suggest ways of tackling the issues that will make life better for you and your customers.

“And with the burden of responsibility on Ministers to make a case to keep regulations, it’s your voice that will shape the decisions on the way we do business in the UK.”

The website can be found at