HC Deb 02 November 2001 vol 373 c870W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to(a) reduce and (b) limit the number of regulations affecting industry. [11828]

Mr. Leslie

The Government are committed to minimising the burden of regulation on business.

A Regulatory Impact Assessment is required for each new proposal for regulation affecting business to ensure it is necessary and that the benefits justify the costs. The Panel for Regulatory Accountability, now given Cabinet Committee status, meets regularly to discuss regulatory performance with departmental Ministers.

The Regulatory Reform Act 2001 now provides a useful tool for reforming over-burdensome, over-complex and outdated primary legislation.

A draft Regulatory Reform Order (relaxing licensing in pubs and clubs for the forthcoming new year's eve) has already been laid before Parliament for scrutiny, and consultation exercises on a further eight proposals have now finished. There is one consultation exercise on reform of credit unions currently under way.