Overall, the Coalition Government’s rhetoric on regulatory reduction is welcomed by business.  Certainly, there has been some initial progress, for example the introduction of the ‘One-in, One-out’ (OIOO) policy, the deregulatory measures on employment law and the important work of the Regulatory Policy Committee (RPC). Yet it is clear that there is still a long way to go before the Government can claim it has got to grips with red tape.

The scrutiny of regulations often falls down as there is no ‘guardian’ to make sure it is being delivered. National Minimum Wage uplifts and the Agency Workers Directive are key examples where this was the case in 2011. ‘One-in, One-out’ has the potential to have a big effect, but the current exemptions and lack of transparency around Impact Assessments make it difficult to police. Brussels is still pumping out regulatory proposals in areas such as employment and health and safety. To be blunt, businesses the length and breadth of the country are yet to feel any concrete or positive change. Only substantive reductions in the regulatory burden will give companies confidence and enable them to plan for future growth with certainty and clarity.