HC Deb 02 May 1995 vol 259 cc167-8
Q2. Mr. Steen

To ask the Prime Minister if he will set up a seminar about expediting his deregulation plans for the Ministers he has appointed with responsibility for deregulation in all Departments. [20107]

The Prime Minister

From time to time I hold meetings with colleagues to take stock of progress on deregulation. My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade most recently met the appropriate Ministers on 27 April and discussed progress on deregulation measures and steps to improve enforcement procedures.

Mr. Steen

The Prime Minister's personal crusade to rid the country of red tape is greatly welcomed by Conservative Members, but is not the real problem at operational level, where officials are more zealous in enforcing regulations than in trying to reduce the impact of regulations that affect our industries' competitiveness with European countries which do not have all those rules? Will the Prime Minister, therefore, take a fresh initiative that will get to the root of the problem?

The Prime Minister

We are looking at the over-zealous enforcement of regulations. My hon. Friend is right. At national and local levels, over-zealous enforcement of regulations, particularly those affecting small businesses, causes a great deal of distress and worry. He is equally right that deregulation is central to our economic policy. He may be reassured to know that we now have a programme whereby more than 1,000 regulations are earmarked for amendment or repeal and we expect to have dealt with about half of them by the end of the year.

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