§ 34. Ms Ruddock
To ask the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on his Department's deregulation initiative.
§ Mr. Neil Hamilton
The booklet "Deregulation—Cutting Red Tape", copies of which are available in the Library of the House, was published in January, setting out the aims and achievements of the deregulation initiative to date. Since then further developments have includedThe completion of the departmental reviews of their regulations. My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade has recently submitted a report to the Prime Minister on the results of this.There are now 873 regulations earmarked for amendment or repeal, and 359 of the task forces' 605 recommendations have now been accepted and work is being taken forward by the new task force under the chairmanship of Francis Maude.The Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill has now completed its passage through the Commons and is currently before another place.The review of fire safety regulations has now submitted its report to the Government. We are considering its recommendations and how to proceed regarding publication.We continue to work with the European Commission and other member states to ensure that deregulation is at the heart of European policy making and that all new EC proposals are fully justified in terms of their costs and benefits.