Cameron pledges red tape reform

Thousands of rules affecting businesses are to be amended or scrapped, Prime Minister David Cameron will tell the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) today.

According to Mr Cameron, the Government has exceeded its target to identify more than 3,000 regulations to be scrapped or changed in a bid to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses.

Some 800 regulations have already been abolished or simplified as part of the Red Tape Challenge and the Government's 'one in, two out' rule, where ministers have to find savings worth double the cost of introducing any new regulations. Thousands more have been earmarked for removal or reform.

In the speech to the FSB's conference, the Prime Minister will announce that:

  • The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will scrap 80,000 pages of environmental guidance by March 2015, saving businesses around £100 million per year
  • 100 "overlapping and confusing" rules for new homes will be reduced to less than 10, saving homebuilders an estimated £60 million per year
  • The overall reduction in red tape will save businesses more than £850 million per year.

The Prime Minister is expected to tell the FSB conference attendees:

"This will make it easier for you to grow, to create jobs and to help give this country the long-term security we are working towards. More than 1.3 million new jobs have been created since I came to office - many of them by small businesses. And I know many of you want to grow further - or may be thinking of employing your first person - but have been put off or held back by red tape."

Mike Cherry, National Policy Chairman at the FSB, said:

"As all recognise, small firms are central to the UK's economic recovery. Having support from the Prime Minister and policymakers from all parties is critical to ensuring small business issues are front and centre of the economic debate around rebuilding and rebalancing our economy."