Red tape costs to be cut faster

The costs of red tape on business will be slashed at twice the present rate from January 2013, the government says.

From January, every new regulation imposing a new financial burden on firms must be offset by reductions in red tape that will save double those costs. The new One-in, Two-out rule will involve every government department and apply to all domestic regulation affecting businesses and voluntary organisations.

The new rule will replace the One-in, One-out regime, which the government says has reduced net costs on business by almost £1 billon since January 2011. Recent reductions in red tape that have benefited businesses include:

  • giving 100,000 more businesses the flexibility to decide whether or not their company accounts should be audited
  • removing regulatory burdens and costs from hundreds of venues including pubs and clubs, making it easier to stage live music
  • simplifying  guidance on building on contaminated land
  • removing legislation that dictates the location and design of no smoking signs in workplaces

A major package of employment tribunal reforms is expected to deliver £40 million of savings per year to employers and from April 2013, thousands of businesses will be exempt from proactive health and safety inspections.

Announcing One-in, Two-out on 18 November, Business Minister Michael Fallon said:  “Every year businessmen and women still spend too much time and money complying with government regulations, when they should be developing and growing their businesses.

“That’s why we are upping the pace. It will require policymakers to make tough choices, and to think hard about how to get government off the backs of hard-working and hard-pressed businesses”.

Link: Better regulation background information