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Volume 405: debated on Monday 19 May 2003

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To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will list the deregulation measures which have been implemented by his Department since February 2002; and if he will make a statement. [112834]

[holding answer 12 May 2003]: The Government has taken forward a wide range of measures over the past year to reduce and simplify the regulatory burden on public, private and voluntary sectors. Many of these measures are described in detail in Chapter 3 of the Economic and Fiscal Strategy Report (web link http:// and the accompanying press notice entitled Supporting Business and Entrepreneurship, both published on 9 April.In Budget 2003, the Chancellor announced that the Government had identified over 500 proposed deregulatory measures across government since February 2002, including, and building on, over 250 measures that were announced as part of the Government's Regulatory Reform Action Plan.Some of the most notable deregulatory measures that have been implemented by the Chancellor's departments' since February 2002 include:Optional flat rate VAT scheme for small business, enabling more than 650,000 to save up to £1,000 in annual compliance costs; annual accounting for Climate Change Levy; modernisation and simplification of existing regimes governing the taxation of debt and derivative contracts, repealing over 100 pages of legislation; simplification of Capital Gains Tax regime; Corporation Tax exemption for gains on substantial shareholdings; facilitation of electronic communication between building societies and their members; and removal/reduction of rustication on Credit unions to enable wider completion.Full details of these measures can be found on this Cabinet office web link