Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill
Vincent Cable (Secretary of State, Business, Innovation and Skills; Twickenham, Liberal Democrat)
I am not going to give the hon. Gentleman a very precise answer because I will need to check on the exact legal position. I am aware of the concerns, and he is one of several people who have expressed them. I will endeavour to reply to him in writing to give him the precise answer to his question.
A further set of reforms accelerates the Government’s drive to tear up unnecessary red tape. We inherited over 20,000 separate rules and regulations affecting business in the UK. Cumulatively, this regulation stifles growth and strangles innovation, and in the past two years we have launched a concerted drive to tackle the problem. We introduced the one in, one out rule to stem the flow
of regulation to business. The aim of one in, one out is not only to force regulating Departments to deregulate more but to change the Whitehall culture to encourage Departments to use regulation only as a last resort. Under the red tape challenge, 20 regulatory themes have been launched for comment on the website, involving more than 3,700 regulations. Decisions have been announced by Ministers on 1,500 of those, of which well over 50% will be scrapped or improved.