Government plan to reduce business paperwork

Business Secretary Vince Cable today announced an action plan to bring an end to the excessive regulation that is stifling business growth.

The action plan:

  • Creates a new Cabinet “Star Chamber” that will lead the Government’s drive to reduce regulation which is stifling growth, especially of small businesses. This Reducing Regulation Committee will be chaired by the Business Secretary and will enforce a new approach to new laws and regulations, ensuring that their costs are being properly addressed across the entire British economy.
  • Announces an immediate review of all regulation in the pipeline for implementation which has been inherited from the last Government. The cost of implementing this amounts to £5bn annually before April 2011 and £19.1bn per annum thereafter. This will be the first action for the new Cabinet committee.
  • Establishes a new “challenge group” to come up with innovative approaches to achieving social and environmental goals in a non-regulatory way.  This team would work with experts including Richard Thaler, the US behavioural economist.
  • Introduces a new approach that will control and reduce the burden of regulation.  A “one-in, one-out” approach, designed to change the culture of government, would make sure that new regulatory burdens on business are only brought in when reductions can be made to existing regulation.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The deluge of new regulations has been choking off enterprise for too long. We must move away from the view that the only way to solve problems is to regulate.

“The Government has wide-ranging social and ecological goals including protecting consumers and protecting the environment. This requires increased social responsibility on the part of businesses and individuals.

“This is a real challenge and it will not be easy. We need to reduce regulation and at the same time meet our social and environmental ambitions. This demands a radical change in culture away from the tick box approach to regulation only as a last resort. It’s a big task but one worth striving for.”

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