Mark Littlewood writes about the Red Tape Challenge
Virtually every government in recent times has professed a desire to reduce and streamline the regulatory burden on British business. However genuine the intentions, these initiatives have typically failed. The quantity of red tape – and its reach – just goes up and up. Those running and setting up businesses – or those merely contemplating pursuing an idea which might lead to starting up a company – therefore find themselves in an extraordinary position. There seems to be a general consensus that the hoops and hurdles which businesses face are simply too hard to navigate in a simple and straightforward fashion. Yet the number of these obstacles just continues to grow.
The coalition government has pledged to tackle red tape and make life easier and simpler for both established and “unborn” businesses. Its first step was to adopt a “one in, one out” policy – the concept being that a new regulation could only be adopted if an existing regulation was extinguished.
This may have achieved something in stemming the ongoing avalanche of red tape, but it has not been accompanied by the scale of rollback which the political rhetoric seemed to promise.