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Business red tape cuts come into force

Businesses will benefit from dozens of cuts to regulations which came into force this week, including a simplification of the ways firms can use assets to raise finance, the Government has said.

The cuts are part of the Government’s ongoing red tape challenge, in which it is consulting with businesses about regulations that should be improved or scrapped. A total of 1,500 regulations have so far been identified for reform.

The changes that came into effect on the 6 April include:

Simplifying the ways firms can use their assets to raise finance – estimated to save businesses over £21 million

Deregulatory changes to building regulations including reducing administration and more consistent guidance – forms part of a wider package estimated to save over £50 million per year

Removal of a number of health and safety requirements in areas such as celluloid film, shipbuilding and ship repair

Removal of regulations affecting the sale of goods including items deemed as causing risk, such as Christmas crackers.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said: “Setting business free from the restrictions that hold back enterprise is a compulsory step on the road to growth. We’ve listened to firms and taken prompt action where regulation presents barriers – but there is a huge amount still to do.”

“As well as cutting the overall burden of regulation, we are sharpening up how rules are enforced. We’ll make sure regulation works in the public interest without stifling law-abiding firms and hampering growth.”

Elsewhere, the minimum consultation period required for large-scale redundancies fell from 90 to 45 days.

Some trade unions have criticised the change to legislation, however, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills said the move would give ’employers greater flexibility to restructure’ whilst ‘ensuring that meaningful consultation with staff takes place.’

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