Friday, 18 March 2011 21:00

Rural welcome for red tape review

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural welcome for red tape review

BUSINESS leaders have welcomed a pledge to reduce the amount of red tape they claim is hampering the rural economy.

Ministers have promised an end to the gold-plating of EU regulation and a review of over 21,000 statutory instruments.

Enterprise minister Mark Prisk also announced a general moratorium from all new domestic regulations for three years for new and small businesses.

Nearly one third of small firms that want to expand say regulation is holding them back, according to a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses.

Mr Prisk said the government would stop putting British businesses at a disadvantage to their European competitors by over interpreting EU directives.

"We have put a stop to this goldplating by introducing 'copy out': no more interpretation, but a straight transposition of the rules into domestic law.

"Whitehall has enough to do, without embellishing on the rules from Brussels."

Mr Prisk made the promise during a speech to the Federation of Small Businesses conference in Liverpool on Friday (18 March).

His full speech can be read by clicking here.

Commenting on the announcement, Douglas Chalmers, regional director for the Country Land and Business Association, said red tape was the bane of rural entrepreneurs.

"We have been lobbying on this for years, and now it appears that the government has listened," he said.

Ministers were acting to free small businesses from the constraints that were threatening to strangle them and the whole economy.

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the rural economy," said Mr Chalmers.

"Now they can concentrate on developing their businesses for the next three years without having to worry about having to conform to new and unexpected legislation.

Mr Chalmers said the CLA would be encouraging its members to contribute to the review of existing legislation.

The association already had much evidence of hardship caused by out of date, irrelevant or clumsy regulations.

Businesses would be delighted that EU directives would soon be applied into domestic law without embellishment.

"This may not sound significant, but past experience suggests that this will make a huge difference," Mr Chalmers said.

"It is only a start, but it is a good one, and I can promise that the CLA and its members will do their best to keep this momentum going."

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