Businesses urged to “blow the whistle” on red tape

Business owners have been called on to “blow the whistle” on inconsistent and excessive red tape regulations by a new government initiative to support business growth.

Launched last week, the initiative is part of the government’s ‘Red Tape Challenge’ to encourage employers and employees to come forward with examples where different regulators, inspections and conflicting advice is hampering the running of their business and preventing economic growth.

According to the business minister, Mark Prisk the government has already taken steps to “reduce the burden that regulation places on our businesses”, but admitted further action is needed.

He added: “Inspections and enforcement are the most noticeable way in which business experiences regulation. The Red Tape Challenge has already highlighted a number of ways in which compliance problems are getting in the way of businesses, but we weren’t getting enough information on the problems. That’s why we’ve made this natural extension to the Red Tape Challenge as a direct response to the public’s comments.

“So tell us about the good, the bad and the ugly side of how the regulations you deal with are enforced, and help us get the government off your back.”

As part of the scheme three leading business figures have been appointed ‘sector champions’ in a bid to encourage companies and regulators take part in the challenge. They are Martin Traynor, chief executive of Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce; Simon Topman, chief executive of Acme Whistles; and Sir William Sargent, former chair of the Better Regulation Executive.

Traynor said that red tape and regulation are often seen by businesses as the main obstacle to growth and that in order for regulators to tackle the issues around enforcement then it is vital for them to “better understand the problems businesses face.”

He added:  “By working in partnership I am confident that we can build a better enforcement regime that meets the needs of both business and the regulators.”

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“The plans will reduce red tape and free businesses to concentrate on economic growth by recognising the efforts that businesses have made to comply. They will also encourage them to use their knowledge and experience to improve how enforcement works on the front line.”



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