Government announces red tape cuts for retailers

Local businesses are set to benefit from a reduction in paperwork after the government announced measures to cut reams of red tape.

More than half of all retail regulation will be scrapped under the proposals set out by business secretary Vince Cable today, which aim to break down some of the barriers halting economic growth.

Hundreds of 'unnecessary' and 'burdensome' rules will be ditched in a bid to encourage the private sector to lead Britain's economic recovery.

More than 160 pieces of retail legislation will be cut or simplified after more than 9,000 people responded to the

coalition government's Red Tape Challenge after ministers invited the public to comment on which rules should be removed from the statute book.

Rules on a host of everyday products including pencils, prams, beds, children's clothes, Christmas crackers, televisions and chocolate liquors will be relaxed to reduce the amount of form filling for traders.

Many of the antiquated regulations were already covered by general product safety regulations, said officials.

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The Trading With The Enemy Act, which was passed by parliament at the beginning of the second world war and carried a penalty of up to seven years in jail, will finally be ripped up,

Dr Cable said that the current drive would achieve results quickly, and on a large scale, freeing firms from burdens and making it easier for them to do business with.

'We have struck a balance between keeping regulations necessary to protect consumers, the workforce and the environment, while rolling back the number of rules and regulations our businesses have to deal with.'

'We have heard these promises by successive governments before, but these first proposals from the red tape challenge show that we're serious and we are making real progress,' he said.

See Friday's EDP for more.