Government makes £10bn pledge to cut regulation

Topics: In-house,Regulation and compliance,Government & politics,Local Government

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The public spending watchdog is investigating the effectiveness of government efforts to reduce regulatory burdens imposed on businesses.

Business secretary Sajid Javid (pictured) told the British Chambers of Commerce’s annual conference in London yesterday that the government would cut the cost of regulation by a further £10bn by 2020, following a £10bn cut between 2010 and 2015.


Under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, governments are required to publish and report on their performance against a business impact target.

Javid told the conference the government was publishing a target of £10bn.

The target will cover the impact of legislation and the way statutory regulators enforce existing rules.

Javid said: ‘Rather than being allowed to hide behind red tape, they’re going to have to look at the cost to business of the way they work.’

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ approach to reducing regulation is currently the focus of a National Audit Office consultation.

The NAO is asking for evidence on the costs and benefits deregulation target and the ‘likely effectiveness’ of the approach taken to achieve it.

Javid announced yesterday that he was upgrading the ‘one in, two out’ policy, which required government departments to remove or modify existing rules with double the cost to business for every new regulation introduced that cost money to comply with.

Departments wanting to introduce regulatory costs ‘for things that weren’t in our manifesto’ will be expected to find savings worth three times as much as part of a ‘one in, three out’ policy, Javid said.

‘It’s very easy for a Whitehall bureaucrat to come up with an idea that looks great on paper and, with the stroke of a pen, place a huge extra burden on businesses.

‘But if that same civil servant has to also find ways to remove three times as much red tape, they’ll think twice before putting new regulations in place.’

Javid also announced a ‘root and branch’ review of the way in which local authorities regulate businesses.

The review will lead to an ‘agreed’ set of reforms, covering legislation and enforcement.

Readers' comments (8)

  • Ironic that this should come at a time when our Regulator now wants more regulation... see the Gazette headlines about yet more suggestions on complaints.

    Wouldn't it be a great idea to simplify everything - absolutely everything, and to work on a common sense approach, a little like the Bar regulator? Yes there's less counsel than soicitors, but they operate at a fraction of the staff - and no doubt cost.

    I think that our Regulator and those in office should lead the way - not put obstacles in it. Cut the red tape, simplify everything, and work more efficiently. After all, that's what we're constantly being urged to do - in fact, we're even being urged to do more free work for less money, with ever increasing regulation.

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  • How do you separate useless red tape from useful red tape?!

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  • Trouble with regulators and their employees is that they all seem to develop the 'jobs worth car park attendant syndrome' - ie give a little man a lot of power and he'll use it!!


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  • As a matter of interest how much of this mythical £10 bn figure was spent on cutting regulation on solicitors practises?Minus £1 bn at a guess.Who is actually benefitting from this money?Frankly I do not believe a word of it and will not do so until someone shows me the breakdown and to what it relates.

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  • Don't be stupid.

    The Insurers Banks and Large Firms want their competition out of the way.

    Why cut something that is working for them very well. ?

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  • Bollocks.

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  • But what would all the 'civil servants' do if they did not have regulations to draft and then to enforce. Millions would be out of a job. And we are carrying this lot. Just look at Lyn homer and then that woman at the head of the CPS... They could both go and we would save over £1m per annum immediately and that just for a start.

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  • PS And why does it cost £10bn to abolish something? Just repeal it. That has to be easier and therefore cheaper I imagine, than enacting it.

    And how about fewer MPs? 400 would be too many, 650 is absurd.

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