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Government cuts to red tape already helping employers, claims BIS

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Cuts in bureaucracy and red tape are reducing the burdens placed on businesses according to figures from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

BIS claims the cuts to red tape mean firms can spend more time running their business and reflect the Government's ambition to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business.

Actions already taken include:

BIS's amendment of restrictions to move between International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and UK Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (UK GAAP). This gives business the flexibility to determine the most appropriate set of accounting rules for them, says BIS.

HM Treasury's improved implementation of the EU Money Laundering Directive will ensure that the UK is a hostile environment for money launderers and terrorist financing, while reducing the burden of regulation on legitimate businesses.

The Home Office's simplification of its criminal records disclosure and barring arrangements, making criminal records checks more portable and reducing the need for repeat checks.

BIS's Audit Exemptions will give small business and subsidiaries flexibility in how they submit their company reports; and other measures to be removed or simplified as a result of the Red Tape Challenge initiative include repealing the Smoke-Free Signs Regulations; and exempting small venues staging live music events from the 2003 Licensing Act.

Business and enterprise minister, Conservative MP 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.

"Yes, 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 fewer firms feel regulation is an obstacle to their business, compared to 2009."

The measures were published today in the fourth Statement of New Regulation, which shows the continuing trend of deregulation. The cumulative report shows that since 2011, savings to business from cuts in regulation have outweighed the costs of new domestic regulation by over £850 million.

This reduction in burdens is despite the bulk of the savings in regulation delivered through private pensions' indexation in early 2011 being offset by pensions automatic enrolment. This requirement has been deferred to the next Parliament for small businesses, to give them longer to prepare.