Is the government doing enough to cut the red tape burden for businesses? Tell us what more you think it should it do
11:57 27 January 2014
Cutting thousands of pages of bureaucratic guidance will mean the Government becoming the first administration in modern history to have reduced red tape for businesses over the course of a parliament, David Cameron has claimed.
The Prime Minister said small firms had complained about being held back by the burden of complying with red tape but action was being taken in both Whitehall and Brussels to reduce regulation.
The plan, which will save firms £850m a year, means guidance telling businesses and builders how to do everything from dealing with the problem of dirty windows to cutting hedgerows will by slashed by up to 90pc.
Mr Cameron told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We will be the first government in modern history to finish a parliament with less regulation in place than we started with.
“Now I know that doesn’t sound a huge amount but when you think back, government after government has just added gold-plated regulation on gold-plated and if you have been listening, like I have, to small businesses, they have always been saying it’s the red tape as much as the taxes and other things that are holding them back.
“And if we want a recovery for all, and in every part of the country, small business is the lifeblood of our economy. Over 90% of firms are small firms, they account for 60% of private sector employment. They are the ones that are going to provide the jobs and the growth and I want to help them.”
Among the 80,000 documents of environmental guidance to be significantly cut back are 286 pages of regulations on hedgerow maintenance and 380 pages on waste management.
Around 100 housebuilding standards will also be slimmed down to fewer than 10 and some requirements will be axed, including rules that impose bigger windows on new buildings to allow for a “dirt factor” instead of assuming people will clean them.
The Prime Minister said the public had been involved in the plans by suggesting measures to scrap through the Red Tape Challenge.
Mr Cameron’s claim to have reduced red tape applies to domestic regulation, but he said the European Union had also come under pressure to act.
“We are cutting back on EU regulation as well. For the first time I have actually got the European Commission to sign up to having a scoreboard of regulations that they are taking away and we are exempting a lot of micro-businesses from European regulation.”