Cuts in red tape 'saving millions'

Mark PriskSavings to business from cuts in red tape have outweighed the costs of new regulation by more than £850 million, the Government has said.

Ministers said the one-in, one-out system, under which new regulations have to be offset by cuts elsewhere, was reducing burdens on business.
The Business Department said measures already taken have improved accounting rules, simplified criminal record checks and helped small firms with company reports.

Business minister Mark Prisk said: "These measures show we are making steady progress on the long road to a better regulatory environment for business. It demonstrates the effectiveness of the one-in, one-out system, where Government only regulates when it is in the interests of the economy or clearly necessary for personal safety.

"It will take time for the difference to be felt by business, and some sectors will feel greater relief sooner than others, but I was encouraged by the recent business perceptions survey, which showed that fewer firms feel that regulation is an obstacle to their business compared to 2009."

The department said that since 2011, savings to business from cuts in regulation have outweighed the costs of new domestic regulation by more than £850 million.

John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "Over recent months, the Government's efforts to deregulate have not gone unnoticed by the business community.

There has been a significant reduction in the flow of new regulations, even if the overall number of regulations on the books remains far too high. Notably, the new changes announced around audit exemptions will be welcomed as they will save businesses up to £390 million a year.

"But there is still some way to go until the benefits of regulatory reform are felt by real businesses on the ground, with many complaining that European legislation in particular is making them less competitive in global markets. Ministers must continue to pursue deregulation, and not assume that the job is complete."

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