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Business leaders question government’s commitment to cutting red tape

11 Mar 2016

Responding to the Regulatory Policy Committee’s six-monthly report, published today, Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:

“The Regulatory Policy Committee does important work in ensuring the Government is held to account on its promises for red tape reduction. While there was no doubt good work done in the last Parliament on deregulation, there remains much to do, as IoD members still cite the regulatory burden as a top-three barrier to growth.

“The RPC, though, can only do what it is allowed to do. It is deeply concerning that the National Living Wage will not be considered within the Government’s £10 billion deregulation target, nor, it seems, will the Apprenticeship Levy. Removing these two substantial costs to business from the target might well give the Government a better shot at hitting it, but it makes a mockery of the whole exercise. This calls into question how serious their commitment to deregulation really is.”

The Government has set a ‘Business Impact Target’ of £10 billion-worth of deregulatory measures by the end of the Parliament, calculated by subtracting the financial impact of deregulatory measures from the financial impact of new regulation. The Governmentannounced last week that the increase in the NLW, which according to today’s figures will cost businesses £821 million in the first year, will not be included as a ‘regulatory measure.’ Similarly, indications are that the Apprenticeship Levy will also not be included, despite the cost to business.

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