§ Laura Moffatt
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress is being made in reducing the administrative burden on small businesses. 
§ Nigel Griffiths
The Government have put in place a number of measures to reduce the administrative burden of regulations on small businesses, includingAnnounced in January 2000 that employers with 4 or fewer employees will be exempt from the requirements to provide access to stakeholder pensions and deduct pension contributions.Announced in April 2000 an increase in the statutory audit threshold for companies from £350,000 to £1 million. This measure will relieve up to 150,000 small firms from the burden of statutory audit, saving small companies up to £180 million a year.We have exempted small shops from the new EU unit pricing requirements.We have exempted employers with twenty or fewer employees from the trade union recognition procedures in the Employment Relations Act.Small Business Service has produced clear guidance on a number of complex regulations.The Business Link Website is now attracting 80,000 alerts about regulations automatically.A 12 weeks period between regulations being agreed users per month——and businesses can register to receive and implemented has been actioned, allowing owner managers time to adapt to the new regulations.Assisted and supported 6000 individuals wanting to start and grow a business and helped a further 6000 with mentoring advice.The Patrick Carter review of payroll administration.