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Business secretary aims to cut red tape by £10bn

Measures to support entrepreneurs and job creation have been set out in Sajid Javid’s first keynote speech as business secretary, including cutting red tape by £10bn over the next five years.

Sajid Javid

An enterprise bill will be included in the Conservative Government’s first Queen’s speech and was unveiled by Javid, right, on 19 April.

The bill includes plans to extend and simplify ‘primary authority’, by which a business gets advice on regulation from a single council, which must then be respected by all other local authorities, avoiding businesses having to obey a set of different rules.This was extended to small businesses in 2013 after being originally introduced to help larger firms trading nationwide but it received a low uptake.

The government’s target for cutting red tape will extend to independent regulators.

The creation of Small Business Conciliation Service, which is intended to help settle disputes between small and large businesses over late payments practices, also forms part of the bill.

The business secretary expects the legislation to help create two million jobs over the next five years.

In his speech today, Javid said: “We’re going to widen the powers for representative bodies to act on behalf of their members to challenge grossly unfair payment terms. There’ll be a consultation on this later this year.

“From April next year, no employer will pay national insurance for apprentices under 25. Some of this action will require legislation and will be announced in the Queen’s speech.

“Now we’re going to tackle European regulation head on, pressing EU institutions to reduce needless burdens on business, ensuring we implement EU law in a way that doesn’t put UK business at a competitive disadvantage.”

The European Commission has also announced proposals to cut red tape for businesses including the Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) Platform.

The REFIT Platform will collect suggestions from experts across business, civil society, social partners, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of Regions and Member States for reducing regulatory and administrative burden and bringing forward concrete ideas.

The Commission said it will react to all of them and systematically explain how it intends to follow up. It also renewed its commitment to listen to stakeholders’ views via the online tool ‘Lighten the Load – Have Your Say’.

First vice-president of the Commission, Frans Timmermans said: “Better regulation is one of our top priorities. We are listening to the concerns of citizens and businesses, especially SMEs, who worry that Brussels and its institutions don’t always deliver rules they can understand or apply.”

It also called on the European Parliament and Council to carry out impact assessments of any substantial amendments they propose during the legislative process.

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