Blair promises action on red tape

PRIME MINISTER Tony Blair has pledged to end the “cultural problem” of red tape which is leaving many business sectors struggling.

The Financial Times reports that Mr Blair has told business leaders he will consider amending the Regulatory Reform Act to make it easier to get rid of redundant regulation.

It also claims that he has asked the Better Regulation Taskforce to consider two specific proposals.

The first is a target for reducing administrative costs on business and the second a “one in, one out rule” meaning a new rule can only be introduced if an old one is dumped.

Digby Scott, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said he would believe it, when he saw it.

“Ministers have said for 20 years that every time they introduce a regulation they will appeal another.

“Reducing red tape will involve a change in the culture of the civil service. The people who make regulations see business as an opponent rather than a partner.”

Mr Blair has also vowed that that regulatory reform will be a “centrepiece” of the UK presidency of the European Union in the second half of next year.

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