Savings achieved by cutting red tape outweigh costs of new regulation by 850m, Business Department announces

New figures have shown that cuts in red tape have led to significant savings which are reducing the burden on UK businesses.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said the savings achieved by reducing bureaucracy for companies have outweighed the costs of new regulations by more than 850 million so far.

While businesses must conform to certain sets of rules such as employment laws, the Government's one-in, one-out system states that every new regulation has to be offset by bureaucracy cuts elsewhere.

BIS also said that it has taken a range of measures since 2011 which have given smaller firms more flexibility in how they submit their company reports, while allowing companies to determine the most appropriate set of accounting rules for them and introducing simpler criminal record checks.

Business minister Mark Prisk said: "These measures show we are making steady progress on the long road to a better regulatory environment for business.

"It demonstrates the effectiveness of the one-in, one-out system, where Government only regulates when it is in the interests of the economy or clearly necessary for personal safety.

"It will take time for the difference to be felt by business, and some sectors will feel greater relief sooner than others, but I was encouraged by the recent business perceptions survey, which showed that fewer firms feel that regulation is an obstacle to their business compared to 2009."

John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: "Over recent months, the Government's efforts to deregulate have not gone unnoticed by the business community.

"There has been a significant reduction in the flow of new regulations, even if the overall number of regulations on the books remains far too high.

"Notably, the new changes announced around audit exemptions will be welcomed as they will save businesses up to 390 million a year.

"But there is still some way to go until the benefits of regulatory reform are felt by real businesses on the ground, with many complaining that European legislation in particular is making them less competitive in global markets."

He added: "Ministers must continue to pursue deregulation, and not assume that the job is complete."

Copyright Press Association 2012