§ Mr. Arbuthnot
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made under the rolling programme of deregulation reviews announced on 31 January by the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Corporate Affairs.
§ Mr. Redwood
Of the 22 reviews announced in January all are complete or nearing completion. They have already resulted in a wide range of benefits to business. In some cases it has proved possible to eliminate requirements altogether, in others to update and streamline controls. Quantifiable savings to business from these completed reviews should exceed £10 million per annum. Government communications with business have also been improved through the consultations which have taken place, as has the service provided by Departments.
Our prime aim remains to remove the time loss and frustration caused to business by out-of-date or cumbersome requirements. We are therefore bringing forward consideration of a number of wider issues which have an impact particularly on the development of smaller businesses, together with reviews designed to identify regulatory barriers to building new businesses in various sectors.
The full list of new departmental reviews is as follows:
C & E—
- (i) Industrial oils reliefs; and
- (ii) Methylated spirits reliefs Review the burden placed on businesses by current administrative procedures, and consider whether the records required to be kept by users can be simplified.
- (iii) Production and dissemination of information to the trade and public Review will include the provision of VAT advice to business and the effectiveness of communications with new business.
DH—Review of CAPRICODE guidanceReview the procedures governing accountability in the NHS Building Programme (CAPRICODE) to ensure that no unnecessary restrictions are placed on the construction industry.
DSS—Service to business in the new National Insurance Contributions UnitReview those areas of the Unit's work which provide a service to business and make recommendations on how these can be improved and burdens reduced.
- (i) Company law exemptions for private companies Review the provisions for their impact on non-public companies.
- (ii) Regulations made under Part II of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 Review the need for regulations in the light of the development of industry standards.
- (iii) CB radio licensing Review various options for improving the present system of CB licensing.
- (iv) Fixed-link radio user access system Introduce a user accessible database for radio fixed links.
DTp—Type approval procedures for equipment on merchant ships.Review scope for changing procedures in order to reduce costs of UK ship-owners.
HO—Betting-shop hours of opening395WConsider an extension of the permitted opening hours beyond the existing statutory closing time.
HSC—Strategy for negotiating EC health and safety DirectivesAssess general lessons for present and future regulatory policy based on experience of negotiating EC health and safety Directives.
IR—P11D'sReview the P11D form and procedures with a view to reducing the burden they impose on employers.
MAFF—Export Refunds and Monetary Compensatory AmountsEnquiry into product classification for which exports refunds and Monetary Compensatory Amounts are fixed, and the differentiation of refund rates by destination.
- (i) The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. Review the working of the Act, with particular reference to the scope for reducing inconsistencies in optional business licensing powers of local authorities.
- (ii) Registration and inspection of independent schools in Scotland. Review procedures to assess whether the system is burdensome for school proprietors and what scope exists for simplification.
EDU—Faster and simpler business licensingReview feasibility of developing a cross-departmental public database to enable business to indentify quickly and clearly requirements to be met.