06 November 2014
The red tape challenge has saved UK businesses £200 million in its first year, says government.
The campaign, first established in 2013, has seen one third of its recommendations delivered in the last year, saving UK businesses around £100 million a year, preventing additional costs of at least £100 million a year.
However, Business Minister Matthew Hancock has commented that ‘[it] is imperative that the new European Commission goes further and moves much faster to boost business growth’.
FSB National Chairman John Allan said: ‘The taskforce has undertaken valuable work to highlight how poorly designed and disproportionate regulation hits small firms hardest. We are pleased by their early progress, particularly in getting the Commission to take up the cause of exempting small businesses from burdensome bureaucracy around waste disposal. However, there is clearly more to be done in Brussels to change the culture towards regulation, and we will continue working with the UK government to make the case for EU rules designed with small firms in mind.’
The ten recommendations that have been delivered are as follows:
The Commission agreed a non-binding recommendation rather than legislation in the shale gas sector, which could support more than 64,000 jobs in the UK alone. This will help safeguard annual investment worth up to £3.3 billion in the UK.
A new EU framework for non-financial reporting has been limited to large listed and large public interest companies, avoiding unnecessary new burdens on small businesses.
The Commission has withdrawn its proposed Soil Framework Directive which would have placed unnecessary burdens on farmers, builders and land managers without any additional environmental benefits and could have cost the UK economy up to £7.95 billion over 30 years.
The Council agreed not to impose binding legislation on traineeships, allowing employers in the UK to continue to run tailored schemes with minimal bureaucracy to help get young people into work.
The compromise reached on the Posting of Workers Enforcement Directive limits the amount of paperwork that businesses are required to provide.
The EU’s new rules for Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) should reduce the number and length of assessments carried out, particularly for smaller projects, reducing costs for developers and small businesses.
The EU agreed practical and proportionate rules on country of origin labelling for food – ensuring information for consumers, but without imposing significant and unnecessary costs on producers.
A proposed amendment to the Waste Framework Directive would allow member states to exempt SMEs from registering as waste carriers when transporting low volumes of non-hazardous waste, benefitting up to 460,000 small businesses in the UK.
The Commission has withdrawn its proposed Access to Justice in Environmental Matters Directive, which contained unnecessary, disproportionate and inflexible rules that would have been detrimental to business.
The EU agreed a new streamlined regulation for clinical trials making it easier for business to apply and seek approval to undertake clinical trials. It is expected to save UK businesses some £60 million a year.