David Cameron has pledged to slash 80,000 pages of DEFRA red tape in a bid to boost the rural economy.

The cuts would be achieved by March 2015 and could save rural businesses £100m, the prime minister said in a speech to the Federation of Small Businesses on Monday (27 January).

The announcement won immediate backing from the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).

See also: Cattle movement re-jig will save farmers £70m

The CLA, which called for cuts in red tape in its housing report Tackling the Housing Crisis in England, also backed Mr Cameron’s decision to bolster house building by cutting 100 overlapping and confusing standards applied to new homes to fewer than 10.

“All this is good news for the rural economy, small businesses and the people living and working in the countryside.”
Henry Robinson, CLA president

CLA president Henry Robinson said: “All this is good news for the rural economy, small businesses and the people living and working in the countryside.

“We have been waiting for some time to see the results of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge and it is very pleasing to see that many of the regulations that apply to agriculture, the environment and the rural economy are to be swept away.”

Mr Robinson added: “This radical approach is vital to stimulate the rural economy. For far too long, agriculture and rural businesses have been hamstrung by over-regulation and the over-zealous interpretation of the rules.”