HC Deb 19 January 1994 vol 235 cc647-8W
Mr. Gill

To ask the President of the Board of Trade how the cost impact of complying with proposed regulations is to be assessed with regard to small businesses.

Mr. Sainsbury

The Government are introducing today a small business litmus test as part of the compliance cost assessment procedure to ensure that the cost impact of proposed regulation on small businesses is fully taken into account. The test will normally take the form of a requirement for departments to consult two or three small firms typical of the sector affected by the regulation and discuss with them what the impact would be. Departments may apply an alternative test if this would give a better and clearer picture of the impact. The results of the test are to be included in the compliance cost assessment on the proposed regulation.

I am arranging for a note of the full terms of the small business litmus test to be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.