Red Tape & The Arculus Review

Red Tape & The Arculus Review

Red Tape & The Arculus ReviewBoth businesses and the public sector, now more than ever, need relief from unnecessary regulatory burdens, according to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW). It follows the publication on Wednesday of The Arculus Review, a report on how to reduce the regulatory burden on business, commissioned by the Conservative Party.

The report, written by David Arculus, a former government advisor on red tape, recommends cutting redundant regulators and reducing the cost and flow of new regulations. Recommendations also include imposing regulatory budgets on Whitehall departments and subjecting 150 regulators to a review.

Clive Lewis, Head of SME Issues at the ICAEW, said on the proposals in the report:

“Parliamentarians should commit to the Arculus proposals for a truly independent panel on regulation and a comprehensive system of regulatory budgets. We call on both the government and the Conservatives to acknowledge the importance of active engagement in Brussels to achieve better regulation. In particular we fully support the proposed revision of the Corporate Tax Regime set out in the Arculus report – the ICAEW has been calling for tax simplification for several years.”

The report follows the decision by government in April to delay implementing a system of regulatory budgets. In its annual Enterprise Survey, the ICAEW estimates that the regulatory environment costs companies £11.3 billion in 2007/08.

Clive Lewis added:

“We would call on all parties to support the spirit of the Arculus report and get better regulation back on the main agenda. At a time when businesses are struggling more than ever, it is crucial to help to ease the burdens.”

Commenting on the proposals in the Arculus Review, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), added:

“According to our latest Burdens Barometer, the cumulative cost of regulation on business since 1998 now stands at a staggering £76 billion. Addressing this mass of red tape handcuffing British business needs to be a priority for all politicians.

“Arculus’ proposals will be widely endorsed by business, especially plans to implement regulatory budgets and for a UK minister to be permanently based in Brussels. Challenging European law at an earlier stage is crucial.”

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