Plans to Cut Red Tape Must Go Further, Warns FPB

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has urged Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, John Hutton, to do more to cut red tape and deliver savings for smaller businesses. Earlier today, Mr Hutton met with the FPB’s Policy Representative, Matt Goodman, to report the Government’s progress one year after it promised to begin removing unnecessary bureaucracy. The FPB, while content that a start that has been made, told Mr Hutton to push on and make more meaningful reforms by 2010.

In its report, called ‘Delivering Simplification Plans’, the Government argued that much of the red tape that has hindered smaller businesses has been reduced, and announced further plans to simplify regulation through Parliament’s new regulatory reform committee. However, the FPB is concerned that existing laws designed to tackle over-regulation have yet to make a significant impact. The Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill, which gained royal assent in November 2006, was supposed to fast-track regulation-busting orders through Parliament, but this has so far failed to deliver real change.

“There has been a first step, but the FPB is driving home the message that it should be seen as the groundwork for more substantial reforms,” said Mr Goodman. “The proposals delivered so far are too sector-specific to really make something tangible out of them for the majority of smaller firms.”

“The Government needs to be prepared to push through a culture change with regards to cutting red tape,” he added. “The report mentions putting smaller businesses first. The FPB will continue to work to make sure that this commitment is followed through.”