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How will Cable cut SME red tape?

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Following prime minister David Cameron’s commitment to “re-open Britain for business”, business secretary Vince Cable detailed how the government plans to cut regulation, starting with the review of 200 regulations that have yet to come into force, and that are estimated to cost £19bn to implement.

“The deluge of new regulations has been choking off enterprise for too long,” said Cable. “We must move away from the view that the only way to solve problems is to regulate.”

Cable said that although he remains committed to protecting consumers and the environment, this requires increased social responsibility from businesses and individuals – not big government. 

“This is a real challenge and it will not be easy. We need to reduce regulation and at the same time meet our social and environmental ambitions,” he continued.

“This demands a radical change in culture away from the tick-box approach to regulation only as a last resort. It’s a big task but one worth striving for.”

So how’s he going to do it?

As well as reviewing all regulation in the pipeline from the previous government, Cable announced the formation of a new cabinet “Star Chamber”, the Reducing Regulation Committee, which will lead the project.

One of the more interesting proposals is for the government to take a “one-in, one-out” approach to regulation. This will be designed to change the culture of government, Cable said, where any new regulatory cost will be compensated by cuts to the cost of old laws.

Overall, it seems entrepreneurs and the business world welcomed the move. “Our calls for a comprehensive review of red tape finally appear to have been heard,” said Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business.

What regulations do you want to see disappear? Leave your comments below.

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