Cable to review business red tape enforcement

Vince Cable
Image caption Mr Cable says he will seek to reduce red tape for business

Business Secretary Vince Cable has said the government will launch a review of how business regulation is enforced.

Starting from next month, the Department for Business will initially look at regulatory enforcement in three sectors.

Small-scale food manufacturing, the chemicals industry, and voluntary events will be first out.

The review will then extend to other areas of business.

Companies will be asked to share their experiences via a new website called Focus on Enforcement.

Speaking at the Federation of Small Businesses annual conference in Scarborough, Mr Cable explained that the review would look at all national regulators, plus local authorities.

"In addition to cutting the volume of regulation, we also need to improve the way it is enforced," he said, "because we understand that it can be just as burdensome as the rules themselves.

"In particular, we have heard a lot about the frustrations of dealing with poor coordination between different regulatory authorities, so that rather than being left to run your business you are having to juggle inspections and requests from different bodies.

"And we heard accounts of being given inconsistent advice, or the feeling that regulators don't always make enough of a distinction between businesses that try their hardest to comply with the law, but don't always get it right every time, and those that are real cowboys."

The UK's regulatory bodies range from the Advertising Standards Authority to the Office of Communications (Ofcom), and the Financial Services Authority.

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