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Clause 43 - Maximum period between scheme returns to be 5 years for micro schemes

Part of Pensions Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 4:00 pm on 11th July 2013.

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Photo of Steve Webb Steve Webb The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 4:00 pm, 11th July 2013

Clause 43 is a deregulatory measure, as are so many of the measures we have brought forward in this Parliament. The Committee may be aware that we have something that used to be called “one in, one out”. In other words, the Government have decided that, whenever a Government Department passes a regulation that applies, say, a £1 million regulatory burden on British business, it cannot do so without identifying £1 million of deregulation to offset that. The DWP was the exemplar par excellence—I think one can be, and we are—of a deregulatory Department with a substantial “one in, one out” balance at the end of last year.

However, the Government decided they were not being deregulatory enough and have introduced “one in, two out”. In other words, for every £1 million of regulatory burden I might wish or feel obliged to put on British business, I now have to identify £2 million of deregulation to undertake.

Clause 43 is one small measure in the spirit of “one in, two out”. I strongly expect that “one in, three out” might be around the corner. The point about “one in, two out” is that it ensures that, within the scope of the regulations counted in the exercise, this Government will be the first ever to be a net deregulator.