§ Mr. Bercow
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many regulations on businesses were in existence in 1997; and how many there are now. 
§ Mr. Stringer
I have been asked to reply.
This information is not kept in the form requested and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost. Existing regulations with the potential to affect business may originate far back in history and cross a great spread of departmental responsibilities.
Since 1998, every regulation with an impact on business is required to undergo a regulatory impact assessment to ensure that all the alternatives have been considered and that the benefits justify the costs. Regulatory impact assessments can be obtained from the Libraries of the House.