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Action plan announced to end excessive regulation

He detailed the first phase of the Coalition Government’s action plan to reduce regulation following the Prime Minister’s commitment last week…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


He detailed the first phase of the Coalition Government’s action plan to reduce regulation following the Prime Minister’s commitment last week to “re-open Britain for business”.

The action plan:

  • Creates a new Cabinet “Star Chamber” that will lead the Government’s drive to reduce regulation which is stifling growth, especially of small businesses. This Reducing Regulation Committee will be chaired by the Business Secretary and will enforce a new approach to new laws and regulations, ensuring that their costs are being properly addressed across the entire British economy.

  • Announces an immediate review of all regulation in the pipeline for implementation which has been inherited from the last Government. The cost of implementing this amounts to £5bn annually before April 2011 and £19.1bn per annum thereafter. This will be the first action for the new Cabinet committee.

  • Establishes a new “challenge group” to come up with innovative approaches to achieving social and environmental goals in a non-regulatory way. This team would work with experts including Richard Thaler, the US behavioural economist.

  • Introduces a new approach that will control and reduce the burden of regulation. A “one-in, one-out” approach, designed to change the culture of government, would make sure that new regulatory burdens on business are only brought in when reductions can be made to existing regulation.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

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

“The Government has wide-ranging social and ecological goals including protecting consumers and protecting the environment. This requires increased social responsibility on the part of businesses and individuals.

“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. 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.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Reducing Regulation Committee will stress-test regulatory proposals making sure that only those of suitably high quality (for example meeting good regulation principles) and suitably high priority proceed.

  2. ‘One-In - One-Out’ is a regulatory management system, whereby any new regulatory cost is compensated by cuts to the cost of old laws, and that the cut in regulatory cost must be greater than the cost of the new regulation.

  3. The Better Regulation Executive is responsible for implementing the regulation agenda at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, and works across government to improve the way new laws and regulations are created, cutting away unnecessary red tape and being fair to business.

  4. The “Forward Regulatory Programme” published in March by the Better Regulation Executive identified 200 new regulations that departments were planning to bring in between May 2010 and April 2011 with a cost of over £5 billion, and over 20 new regulations beyond April 2011 with individual costs of over £50 million and total costs of about £19 billion.

  5. The intended small “challenge group” will encourage an imaginative approach to non-regulatory alternatives to regulatory proposals presented by Departments to the Reducing Regulation Committee. The longer term aim would be to change the culture and for Departments to propose non regulatory solutions.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone




Name Nick Evans Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 3496 Fax



Published 2 June 2010