By Maximilian Clarke

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg yesterday (Tuesday) delivered a speech on deregulation, blasting the ‘when in doubt, regulate’, approach of the previous government that left smaller enterprises negotiating a quagmire of red tape.

Responding to the speech, the British Chambers of Commerce welcomed its message, though added that rhetoric must be matched by a comprehensive strategy to deregulate business that will bring about a change in regulatory culture.

“The tone of Nick Clegg’s speech is encouraging, as it shows the depth of the government’s commitment to easing regulatory burdens on businesses.

“The deregulation drive, starting with the upcoming employment law review announcements, needs to deliver real change for companies on the ground. That’s why we recommended that the government commits to a comprehensive deregulation plan, giving businesses confidence that specific issues and concerns will be addressed according to a clear timetable.

“At the local level, the picture can be complex, so we need to see more detail on the government’s proposals. Sometimes regulators and enforcement generate burdens and bureaucracy that block business growth. Yet it’s also important to encourage joint working between local regulators and local businesses, so that officials go after real risks rather than tick boxes. Businesses up and down the country say that there needs to be a clear culture change, making local regulators into allies for business and growth rather than just enforcers.”

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