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Businesses are benefitting from a reduction in red tape costs of almost £1 billion, says Government


According to an 'official red tape scorecard' published today, a Government pledge to cut business regulations has resulted in net savings to businesses of £836 million since January this year.

Business minister Michael Fallon will today promise further savings - worth £83 million - will be made by June 2013, through 'substantial reforms' to environmental regulations and employment and consumer law.

Fallon confirmed that a review of the way appeals are handled by regulators will form the first stage of 'bureaucracy-busting measures' designed to reduce red tape on business.

The Focus on Enforcement Appeals Review will allow businesses and other interested parties to take part in a review of the effectiveness of appeals mechanisms operated by national and local regulators, and will give those affected the opportunity to talk about their experiences of formal and informal appeals processes, and suggest how they could be made to work more effectively, providing a swifter route to resolution and better industry understanding.

The review will also gather examples of approaches that have successfully helped businesses understand regulators' decisions and meet their obligations more effectively.

Fallon said: "We have started a bonfire of excessive red tape, but I know that it is just as important that we look at the way that regulations are enforced.

"There is room for far more effective enforcement which reduces the burden on business which stick to the rules."

He added: "Despite best efforts, sometimes things can go wrong, that has become clear from previous Focus on Enforcement Reviews. So I want to hear views on how we can improve the way appeals currently work."

Fallon's claims come a week after the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) published a report stating that the new rules are actually costing firms £178 million a year.

Fallon said he was "disappointed" with the CBI's reading of the Government's red-tape record at a time when it is "upping the pace" on its drive to cut red tape. He will this week send officials to the CBI to "talk through the numbers".