By Claire West

Business Secretary Vince Cable today announced a comprehensive package of measures to support the Government’s drive to tackle unnecessary government interference and red tape.

The measures are designed to help transform the relationship between people and government by changing how regulations are drawn up, introduced and implemented.

People are already being encouraged by the Government to nominate laws or regulations they want to see scrapped, and today’s announcement means that government interference in businesses and third sector organisations will have to meet much more rigorous tests before being introduced.

From 1 September, a new 'One-in, One-out' system will begin. When Ministers seek to introduce new regulations which impose costs on business or the third sector, they will have to identify current regulations with an equivalent value that can be removed.

The new rule has been designed to apply initially to domestic legislation affecting businesses and the third sector, with Ministers intending to expand the system in due course.

Whitehall will introduce new laws and regulations, and to ensure that the costs of red tape are adddressed across the UK economy, will set out Principles of Regulation which Government departments must apply when considering new regulations and their impact on business.

The government has asked the independent Regulatory Policy Committee to perform the role of externally scrutinising the evidence and analysis supporting new regulatory proposals, prior to policy decisions being made.

The RPC will also analyse proposals for the implementation of EU legislation. In doing so, the RPC will provided the opportunity for the public and businesses to tell the Government which onerous regulations they believe should be removed or changed through the Your Freedom website, launched last month by the Deputy Prime Minster.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Together these measures represent a fundamental shift in how Whitehall has traditionally used regulation as a way to command and control.

“We have to move quickly delivering credible and meaningful reductions in the burdens that hinder hard-pressed businesses and charities. We have to create a common sense approach in the way we think about new laws.
“By ensuring regulation becomes a last resort, we will create an environment that frees business from the burden of red tape, helping to create the right conditions for recovery and growth in the UK economy.”

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