Red Tape Burden is Easing

Red tapeAn independent report carried out for the National Audit Office (NAO) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) indicates that the burden of regulatory red tape seems to be lifting for UK small businesses.

The 5th Business Perceptions Survey 2012 (PDF) says that fewer firms are citing regulatory constraints as a barrier to business this year with more than half of businesses surveyed saying they expect the level of red tape to either stay the same or decrease with 41% of businesses quizzed saying that the current balance of regulations is "just right".

The Business Perceptions Survey 2012 is the first joint project delivered by the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO) working alongside the Better Regulation Executive department of BIS. The report’s findings will be used by both organisations to better design and deliver future regulations.

The Coalition’s red tape strategy includes:

  • Removing or simplify existing regulations that, unnecessarily, impede business growth
  • Reducing overall volume of new regulation by introducingit only as a matter of last resort
  • Improving the quality of new regulation in the pipeline
  • Using targeted and risk-based enforcement inspections, making them less onerous and/or bureaucratic

Mark Prisk, the Business and Enterprise Minister, said:

“Reducing the burden of regulation for business is at the heart of the Coalition Government’s ambition to make the UK one of best places to start and grow a business. This report suggests that businesses can now see progress, but there is clearly more to do. We are committed to this process.”

According to BIS, a number of initiatives have helped to steer this reduction of red tape, starting with the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill and both the Red Tape Challenge and Focus on Enforcement campaigns.

The Red Tape Challenge alone has focused on garnering SME input on some 21,000 regulations and has attracted nearly 29,000 comments from businesses, according to their twitter account.

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