More cuts in business red tape and bureaucracy

The cuts mean that firms can spend more time running their business and reflect the Government’s ambition to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business.

Actions taken include:

  • The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ (BIS’s) amendment of restrictions to move between International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and UK Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (UK GAAP) gives business the flexibility to determine the most appropriate set of accounting rules for them.
  • HM Treasury’s improved implementation of the EU Money Laundering Directive will ensure that the UK is a hostile environment for money launderers and terrorist financing while reducing the burden of regulation on legitimate businesses.
  • The Home Office’s simplification of its criminal records disclosure and barring arrangements, making criminal records checks more portable and reducing the need for repeat checks.
  • BIS’s Audit Exemptions will give small business and subsidiaries flexibility in how they submit their company reports.
  • Measures to be removed or simplified as a result of the Red Tape Challenge initiative, such as repealing the Smoke-Free Signs Regulations; and exempting small venues staging live music events from the 2003 Licensing Act.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said: “These measures show we are making steady progress on the long road to a better regulatory environment for business. It demonstrates the effectiveness of the One-in, One-Out system, where Government only regulates when it is in the interests of the economy or clearly necessary for personal safety.

“Yes, it will take time for the difference to be felt by business, and some sectors will feel greater relief sooner than others. But I was encouraged by the recent Business Perceptions Survey, which showed that fewer firms feel that regulation is an obstacle to their business compared to 2009.”

The measures were published today in the fourth Statement of New Regulation, which shows the continuing trend of deregulation. The cumulative report shows that since 2011, savings to business from cuts in regulation have outweighed the costs of new domestic regulation by over £850 million.

This reduction in burdens is despite the bulk of the savings in regulation delivered through private pensions’ indexation in early 2011 being offset by pensions automatic-enrolment. This requirement has been deferred to the next Parliament for small businesses, to give them longer to prepare.