UK: A further push towards red tape reduction now looks at regulatory implementation and enforcement

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Last July the UK Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, launched a new package of reviews in five key industry sectors (energy, waste, agriculture, care homes and mineral extraction), deemed to be particularly burdensome, with the aim to cut red tape amounting to £10 billion over the next 5 years. In the UK Government’s views, the saved money will help fight unemployment and boost productivity.

What is new and noticeable is, besides the call for businesses to take part to the review by flagging areas for change – which of course fits with the British longstanding tradition of stakeholders’ consultations – is the pledge to look not only at regulations, but also at how and to what extent they have been implemented and/or enforced. In this respect, the sector reviews will, for example, also check if there have been any duplications in terms of information asked to business by different regulators, and if authorities have been looking to correct it or not.

This means that, differently from the previous Red Tape Challenge and Focus on Enforcement programme, the Cutting Red Tape review programme will «look simultaneously at the regulations and how they are enforced in one go – looking at how they apply to and impact on specific sectors of the economy», linking two key actions in one, in an always more integrated better regulation whole strategy. This is such an ambitious goal, but it is worth to note that UK Government’s approach to new strategies is a step-by-step one, since it is always focused on concrete goals (saving £10 billion over the next 5 years) and on a limited scope of test sectors (five in the first phase).

A second wave of sector reviews are expected to be launched in the Autumn.  

(Federica Cacciatore)