On 7 April 2011, the ‘red tape challenge’ website was launched, proclaiming that ‘for years red tape and bureaucracy have been allowed to spiral out of control. Excessive regulation is burdening business, hurting our economy and damaging society’. The then Prime Minister noted that there were ’21,000 statutory rules and regulations in force’, expressing the hope that that coalition government would be the first to leave office having reduced the burden of regulation rather than increasing it.
In 2014 it was suggested that 3,000 regulations had been scrapped. Progress?
Maybe- but whether regulation is necessary must surely depend on analysis of its purpose as well as the cost/burden of compliance. Like it or not, in a complicated world some regulation is necessary.
Regulating, as well as being regulated is undoubtedly a specialist affair.
The first of our Prime Ministers this year proclaimed a £1Bn cut of red tape post Brexit, from where this might come, and at what cost is not yet clear. The second also announced similar intentions to help businesses.
In 2017 the National Audit Office published a paper that acknowledged 90 key ‘regulators’ operating in the UK (other than local authorities). Those regulators had expenditure of £4 billion.
They remain in place.. and are unlikely to go anywhere..
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