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Small Businesses: Bureaucracy

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what progress the Better Regulation Executive is making towards its target of reducing red tape for small businesses by 25 per cent. by 2010; and if he will make a statement. (206570)

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 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/simplifyingexistingregulation/simplificationplans/2007/page44068.html

Our Enterprise Strategy, published alongside the Budget, also contained significant new proposals to reduce regulation. This includes examining whether small firms can be either exempted from new regulation or be subject to specifically tailored approaches. The Government will also consult on the introduction of regulatory budgets.