Federation seeks more reforms

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The Federation of Small Businesses is calling for the independent body scrutinising new Government regulations to be given sharper teeth.

The call comes in a new FSB report – Regulatory reform: where next? – published on the first anniversary of the Government moratorium on new domestic regulation for micro businesses.

While the FSB welcomes the Government’s regulatory reform programme, it says the Government’s Regulatory Policy Committee needs more powers to scrutinise performance, advocate regulatory reforms and act as an ombudsman.

Federation regional chairman and Sheffield businessman Gordon Millward said: “Poorly designed, ill-thought out regulation isn’t just an irritation for small businesses.

“It costs time and money and may not even achieve what it set out to.

“It’s good that the Regulatory Policy Committee is there to clamp down on this sort of bad regulation, and we welcome the Government’s progress so far on this issue, but the RPC needs real powers if it is to drive change and challenge Whitehall culture. It needs to be able to scrutinise performance in a transparent way and be a powerful advocate for Government-wide change.”

FSB figures show that in the last year four in 10 small firms saw the cost of complying with regulation increase and six in 10 said the cost to them of complying with regulations was more than £1,000 a year.