Moves to cut red tape

RED tape, often touted as the biggest scourge of the business world, is set to be slashed under a new government plan presented to Suffolk business leaders.

RED tape, often touted as the biggest scourge of the business world, is set to be slashed under a new government plan presented to Suffolk business leaders.

The burden of government regulations have long been the bane of the life of a small business person and for years the endless forms and processes linked to them have sparked repeated calls from Suffolk's business sector for less government interference.

Today those calls appear to have come a step closer to being answered after the government pledged to reduce the impact so called 'red tape' has on running a business.

Speaking to Suffolk's business community, Cabinet Office minister Jim Murphy announced new measures to, firstly, quantify the costs onerous regulations are having on businesses and, secondly, to find ways of reducing those costs.

During a meeting with business leaders from throughout the county at Hintlesham Hall on Thursday, Mr Murphy said: “There's a sense from businesses that the burden of red tape has just become excessive.

“What we're saying to businesses in Ipswich and the region is we're going to deliver a system where there's a lighter touch of regulation, a more sensible way of regulation.

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“Implemented properly this new regulation framework could save this region £850million. Across the country it's one per cent of GDP.”

The government's commitment to measure the admin burden in the economy is based on a radical approach adopted by the Dutch government.

The project will involve interviewing businesses, charities and independent organisations to gauge how much it costs them to comply with government regulations. The independent Better Regulation Executive will then report on the total cost of regulation.

Edward Huggins, Business Link for Suffolk director of business strategy who was at Hintlesham Hall to hear Mr Murphy announce the measures, said: “I think it is timely and necessary.

“There's a cost to businesses in complying with regulations, there's a cost of enforcing the regulations and there's a cost to interpreting and offering guidance on dealing with the regulations.

“Entrepreneurs could be more inclined to grow their businesses if they were less encumbered by regulation.”

The government has launched a new web portal to allow business people to make their own suggestions on how to reduce the impact of regulation.

Suggestions can be made by logging on to www.betterregulation.gov.uk

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