The Business Secretary, Vince Cable, has announced a comprehensive package of measures to support the Government’s drive to tackle unnecessary government interference and red tape. The measures will transform the relationship between people and government by changing how regulations are drawn up, introduced and implemented.
People are already encouraged by the coalition Government to nominate laws or regulations they want to see scrapped. Today’s announcement means Government interference in businesses, and third sector organisations, will have to meet much more rigorous tests before being introduced.
From 1 September, a groundbreaking new ‘One-in and One-out’ system will begin. When Ministers seek to introduce new regulations, which impose costs on business or the third sector, they will have to identify current regulations with an equivalent value that can be removed.
This new rule has been designed to apply, initially, to domestic legislation affecting businesses and the third sector. Ministers intend to expand the system in due course.
To reinforce this radical new approach as to how Whitehall will introduce new laws and regulations, and to ensure costs of ‘red tape’ are being properly addressed across the entire British economy, the Government has:
• agreed a set of Principles of Regulation which Government departments must apply when considering new regulations impacting upon business, social enterprises, individuals and community groups;
• asked the independent Regulatory Policy Committee to perform the role of externally scrutinising the evidence and analysis supporting new regulatory proposals, prior to policy decisions being made. It will also analyse proposals for the implementation of EU legislation. In doing so, the RPC will help drive up the accuracy and quality of Impact Assessments;
• provided opportunity for the public and businesses to tell Government of those onerous regulations, they believe, should be removed or changed through the ‘Your Freedom’ website, launched last month by the Deputy Prime Minster.
Ministers will also be taking a rigorous approach to tackling EU regulations and gold plating. The Government will engage earlier in the Brussels policy process; take strong cross Government negotiating lines; and work to end so-called ‘gold-plating’ of EU regulations, so that when European rules are transposed into UK law it is done without putting British business at a competitive disadvantage to other European-based companies.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“Together these measures represent a fundamental shift away from how Whitehall has traditionally used regulation as a way to command and control. We have to move quickly, delivering credible and meaningful reductions in the burdens that hinder hard-pressed businesses and charities. We have to create a common sense approach in the way we think about new laws. By ensuring regulation becomes a last resort, we will create an environment that frees business from the burden of red tape, helping to create the right conditions for recovery and growth in the UK economy.”