David Cameron secured plenty of political capital from his announcement last week that he was slashing red tape. Obiter wonders how many civil service hours were taken up in pursuit of this elusive goal.

But the Ministry of Justice did not seem quite so enthused about the challenge.

Indeed, justice secretary Chris Grayling’s contribution to the announcement came across like some rehashed homework done on the school bus. Some of its ‘planned and ongoing reforms’ looked awfully familiar.

Measures include simplifying bailiff legislation (started last July), banning referral fees (done and dusted last April) and banning claims management companies from offering cash incentives (also put into place last April).

Grayling may have pledged that these changes ‘will help strengthen existing action to drive out poor practices, better protect consumers and go some way to addressing the compensation culture’, but most have already had at least six months to do so.

Obiter contacted the MoJ press office to find out what was new in the announcement, to be told ‘a lot of the areas where we are improving/have improved regulations have already been well publicised’.

So the question remains: what actually changed as a result of last week’s announcement? Perhaps a quango might be set up, Yes Minister style, in order to find out.