Retail Red Tape to be Slashed in Half
Business groups have welcomed Government plans to halve the number of rules and regulations governing retailers.
As part of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge, around 160 of the 257 current retail regulations will be simplified or scrapped altogether to make trading easier for businesses and simplify shopping for consumers.
Examples of the rules deemed unnecessary or overly strict include minimum age laws applied to Christmas crackers, the alcohol licence required by shops selling liqueur chocolates and restrictions regarding the sale of everyday goods such as fly sprays and toilet cleaners.
“These moves will help reduce costs especially for small retailers by cutting down the number of forms they have to fill in and overlapping and confusing laws they have to get to grips with.”
said small business minister Mark Prisk.
The reforms were welcomed by the Forum of Private Business (FPB), which calculated that small businesses spend almost £17 billion per year complying with legislation.
FPB senior policy adviser Phil McCabe said:
“Deregulation is the fastest way of getting businesses to expand. We are reassured that the first theme of the Red Tape Challenge has made a number of practical proposals that are likely to help businesses on the ground.”
“While we feel there are a number of broader pieces of legislation that shouldn’t be ‘off the table’, the announcement of the removal and simplification of regulations that get in the way of businesses is very much welcome.”
British Retail Consortium director deneral Stephen Robertson said:
“Scrapping regulations disused since World War II may make the scale of action look better, but regulatory reform isn’t a numbers game ? it’s about reducing the impact.”
“The Red Tape Challenge signals the right intent, but more support for growth would come from a comprehensive moratorium on new regulation for the life of this Parliament for businesses of all sizes, not just the smallest. Surely what’s damaging for a company with ten staff can’t be justified for one with a thousand?”