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East Midlands Chamber News

Government starts drive to cut red tape

The CTSA will take on the responsibilities of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML), the British Hallmarking Council (BHC) and the Hearing Aid Council (HAC). The new organisation will advise businesses on how to comply with laws governing fair trade, as well as co-ordinating the work of Trading Standards departments across the UK. "The Hampton report, published in March 2005, concluded that burdens on business could be reduced by streamlining the regulatory system to have fewer, larger regulators," said Gerry Sutcliffe, consumer minister. "The new Consumer and Trading Standards Agency will be consumer-focused, but will also promote the importance of competitive markets and innovation, providing fair outcomes for both consumers and business." The Forum of Private Business (FPB) welcomed the launch of the CTSA, but said it is too soon to tell if the Government will deliver on its promise to reduce the number of regulatory bodies from 29 to seven. The FPB has also responded to Chancellor Gordon Brown's request for businesses to tell him which current legislation is most unnecessary, by encouraging small firms to take part in its online survey which aims to highlight the regulations businesses want scrapped or amended. The FPB will present the results of the survey to the Better Regulation Team at the DTI. "There has been an enormous amount of regulation since 1997 which is hurting small businesses," said Nick Goulding, chief executive of the FPB. "The malignant spread of red tape is undermining firms and this [survey] is a golden opportunity for bosses to tell Mr Brown in no-nonsense terms where red tape is choking them."

  • To participate in the online survey visit www.fpb.co.uk

(c) Business Hotline Publications Ltd 2005