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I would have thought that Opposition Members who want the economy to flourish and new jobs in their constituencies welcomed the fact that I and other Ministers spend a lot of our time talking to potential inward investors. That is good not only for them but for the British companies that then become part of their supply chain and whose confidence is reinforced.
Especially for small businesses, growth requires the Government not to put unnecessary obstacles in the way. When we searched the archives, we discovered that we had inherited a stock of 21,800 regulations and that the last Government were responsible for roughly 10,000 of them. Rather sad people like me who have spent some of the best years of our political lives in Statutory Instrument Committees will have seen all of that happening.
We have taken action to stop the gold-plating of EU regulations, to ensure that every new regulation is matched by the value of an “out”, and to mandate sunset clauses. We have launched a reform of the expensive and time-consuming tribunal system, and we have injected common sense into Health and Safety Executive inspections. The Budget confirmed the statement I made last week that there will be a three-year moratorium on new regulation affecting micro-businesses with fewer than 10 employees.