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Business: Regulation

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 23 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (1) what recent steps the Government has taken to minimise the burden of regulation for businesses; (190938)

(2) what recent steps the Government has taken to assist small businesses in the cost of dealing with regulation.

[holding answer 5 March 2008]: Government undertook an exercise, supported by industry, to measure the Administrative Burdens that impact businesses of all sizes as a result of complying with regulations. Upon the completion of this exercise, 25 per cent. net targets by 2010 were set to reduce this burden.

In December 2007, 19 Simplification Plans were published, showing more than 700 measures to reduce the burdens of complying with regulations. Over 280 of these measures have already been delivered saving businesses £800 million per year.

Examples of include:

Simpler law for smaller businesses (BERR):

Smaller businesses stand to benefit from substantial rewrite of Company Law. Coupled with better guidance, new provisions are expected to lower third party costs and make compliance easier. Conservative estimate of £2 million annual savings delivered.

Changes to Small Business Rate Relief (Communities):

Small firms eligible for Small Business Rate Relief no longer have to register for relief annually. £3 million annual savings delivered, and expected to rise to £11 million by 2010.

Small Firms audit requirements (Financial Services Authority):

Removed the need for 3,400 small firms to have a statutory audit, saving £12.9 million per year.

Copies of these plans are available online at:

http://www.berr.gov.uk/bre/policy/simplifying-existing-regulation/simplification-plans/2007/page44068.html