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Departments: Regulation

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to decrease the level of regulatory burden for which his Department is responsible. (136076)

[holding answer 8 May 2007]: DEFRA is committed to a comprehensive programme of regulating better. Our December 2006 ‘Simplification Plan, Maximising Outcomes, Minimising Burdens’, explains the action that is being taken across DEFRA and its agencies to reduce administrative burdens and to improve regulations. That includes removing redundant legislation, without compromising environmental standards, seeking alternatives to traditional regulation and taking a risk-based approach to enforcement and inspection.

The Simplification Plan, which is available from the Library of the House, identifies over 130 separate initiatives that will contribute to meeting our target of reducing the administrative burden we impose on business by 25 per cent. by 2010. Those initiatives are scheduled to deliver an annual administrative burden reduction of around £159 million. They include:

Movements of hazardous waste—simplifying paperwork for monitoring movements will deliver savings of £2.1 million.

Whole Farm Approach—the administrative saving for farmers is estimated at £2.9 million by 2009-10 (based on current uptake).

Replacement of the over 30 month scheme with the older cattle disposal scheme—will deliver administrative savings of £3.49 million by the end of 2008.

Fruit and vegetable marketing standards (introduction of electronic certificates of conformity with EU marketing standards)—will achieve administrative savings of £3.22 million in 2007.

The Game licensing review—realises administrative savings of £0.6 million per annum—starting in mid-2007.