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Businesses: Orders and Regulations

Volume 458: debated on Monday 19 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring costs of implementing the Consumer Credit Regulations 2004 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. (126654)

The Regulatory Impact Assessments published alongside the regulations in 2004 estimated the costs to business as:

£ million

Regulation

One-off cost

Recurring cost

Consumer Credit Act 1974 (Electronic Agreements) Order 2004

0

0

Consumer Credit (Disclosure of Information) Regulations 2004 Consumer Credit (Agreements) (Amendment) Regulations 2004

163.4

1

Consumer Credit (Early Settlement) Regulations 2004

180

22

1 Small unqualified increase in printing costs due to increased volume of information for consumers. 2 +60 transfer to consumers as a result of fairer early settlement terms.

These costs were offset by estimated benefits of £312 million a year (including the £60 million transfer to consumers through fairer early settlement terms).

Costs to the regulators were expected to be limited to the cost of training staff in the new requirements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off cost and (b) ongoing costs of implementing the Employment Relations Act 2004 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators; (126660)

(2) what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off and (b) ongoing costs of implementing the Directive to Establish a General Framework for Informing and Consulting Employees in the UK to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators.

The DTI is totally committed to better regulation. On 11 December it published an ambitious Simplification Plan to reduce administrative burdens by 25 per cent. per year by 2010. The plan is a key part of an ongoing commitment to reducing unnecessary red tape and to making essential regulation simpler and more streamlined.

Details in respect of these two questions are set out as follows:

126660

The Employment Relations Act 2004

The full Regulatory Impact Assessment of the Employment Relations Act 2004 can be found from page 132 in the DTI publication “Employment Relations Research series No. 41: 2004 Compendium of Regulatory Impact Assessments” URN 05/1018

126661

The Directive to Establish a General Framework for Informing and Consulting Employees in the UK

The full Regulatory Impact Assessment of the 2004 regulations to establish a general framework for informing and consulting employees in the UK can be found from page 91 in the DTI publication “Employment Relations Research Series No. 41: 2004 Compendium of Regulatory Impact Assessments”, URN 05/1018.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring costs of implementing the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. (126667)

The Regulatory Impact Assessment published in 2002 contains estimates of the cost to businesses of implementing the Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 at some 3 per cent.—10 per cent. of turnover, implying costs in the range of around £3 million to £10 million. The Department has no information on costs to the Office of Fair Trading.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring costs of implementing the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (Amendment) Regulations 2004 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. (126668)

I have been asked to reply.

(i) The cost to business of implementing the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (Amendment) Regulations 2004 was estimated to be £29 million over 10 years with an additional £16.2 million to £69 million one-off costs in the first year of compliance.

These figures should be considered against the benefits of reducing the risks from hazardous substances. While total benefits could not be quantified, the value of the expected reduction in allergic contact dermatitis because of chromium VI restrictions was estimated at £18 million to £53 million over 10 years.

(ii) Costs to the health and safety regulators were not quantified but were considered to be small, with the majority of costs being incurred in the development of guidance and being balanced out by savings in enforcement. The information in this reply was drawn from the final Regulatory Impact Assessment for the legislation that is available in the Library or on the HSE website at http://www.hse.gov.uk/ria/index.htm

The Government and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are committed to meeting the Better Regulations challenge. HSE is constantly reviewing what can be done better to ensure that the right balance is struck between protecting people at work and avoiding unnecessary burdens on business. Reviewing and improving the guidance to help employers comply with COSHH is one of the aims in HSE’s simplification plan.