Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

New Clause 19 — Power to remove or reduce burdens

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 15th May 2006.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Oliver Heald Oliver Heald Shadow Secretary of State (Justice), Shadow Secretary of State 4:45 pm, 15th May 2006

I would be happy to do that. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the Better Regulation Commission considered whether providing exemptions created disincentives to growth, but did not find much evidence of that. Its report, "Helping Small Firms Cope with Regulation", on exemptions and other approaches, made it clear that small firm exemptions were a useful tool to ensure that there was not an over-burdensome regime for those companies. I mentioned the various categories and thresholds that apply, and there are small business exemptions in 50 or 60 areas. At the moment, however, there is not a legal requirement that there comes a time when the small business impact is considered, although the Cabinet Office talks about that. I believe that there would be no harm in a specific provision that deals with small business, and I suggested such a provision in Committee. Interestingly, the Institute of Chartered Accountants has said that it believes that the relative proportion of the burden of regulation on small business is too large, and that it hopes that Ministers will consider such an approach.