A new report published by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) suggests that the Government has made ‘limited progress’ in reducing the cost of regulation for UK businesses.
The Government had previously pledged to reduce the total cost of red tape by £10 billion between 2015 and 2020.
In its report, the PAC reveals that, so far, less than £1 billion has been saved. It also suggests that the Government has included the compulsory 5p plastic bag charge as a ‘saving’ for retailers due to the additional revenue it generates.
Other significant costs, however, have been excluded from the target, such as the ones generated by the National Living Wage (NLW).
The PAC urges the Government to ‘consider whether it is appropriate to include regulations imposed on business as contributing towards the target’.
Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the PAC, stated: ‘A policy of reducing regulatory costs has the potential to deliver significant benefits but the Government has its work cut out if these are to be realised.’
Meanwhile, Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), commented: ‘FSB members tell us regulation is the number one issue they want this Government to focus on. As we face the challenges and opportunities of Brexit, it is vital that we bolster business productivity and remove burdensome red tape.’