Cameron pledges to cut red tape for small business


Prime Minister David Cameron gave examples of the "pointless" regulations that are being scrapped

Related Stories

Thousands of rules affecting business are to be scrapped or amended, David Cameron has told a Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) conference.

More than 3,000 rules will be dropped or changed, saving more than £850m a year, he told the FSB.

They include 640 pages of cattle movement guidance, 286 pages of hedgerow regulations and 380 pages of waste management rules.

Mr Cameron said he wanted to "get out of the way of small business success."

His government would be the first in history to end a term in office with less regulation on the statute books than when it came into power, he said.

Cutting the country's deficit, reducing taxes and freezing fuel duty was part of the government's "clear long-term economic plan", he added.

Start Quote

The UK's large businesses need to play their part too in supporting ambitious small businesses, for example through paying their smaller suppliers promptly”

End Quote Mike Cherry FSB policy chairman

Reducing red tape, cutting business rates, and scrapping the jobs tax from April 2015 were ways the government was supporting small businesses, said Mr Cameron.

"We need to be a country that celebrates enterprise and backs risk takers," he said.

'Red Tape Challenge'

Citing some regulations he thought should go, Mr Cameron said: "If you want to sell oven cleaner in this country you need to have a poison licence."

Other reforms that have been or will be implemented under the government's Red Tape Challenge include:

  • Environment: new guidance on contaminated land and hazardous waste
  • Food labelling: regulations to be reduced from 30 to 17
  • Road transport: 142 regulations "scrapped or improved" - 36 million vehicles will no longer need a paper tax disc
  • Aviation: 48 out of 83 regulations "scrapped or improved"
  • Health and safety: "at least one million self-employed" removed from health and safety regulation, and more than 100,000 "low-risk businesses" exempt from inspections
  • Housebuilding: 100 "overlapping and confusing standards" applied to new homes reduced "to less than 10" - estimated saving £64m.

The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) will have slashed 80,000 pages of environmental guidance by March 2015, saving businesses around £100m per year, the government said.

While business organisations broadly welcomed the government's initiative, environmental groups were more sceptical.

A vintage retailer explains why he started his own company, as the FSB explains what measures David Cameron should support

"The Government must stop making the environment a scapegoat for the economic challenges we face," said Craig Bennett, policy and campaigns director for Friends of the Earth.

"Important rules that safeguard our health and environment are being lost in this ideologically-driven war on red-tape."

Engine for growth

Other proposed measures for small businesses include a £1.1bn package of business rates relief, £100m of broadband vouchers to help businesses get online, and up to £2,000 each in growth funding for 20,000 small businesses.

The FSB said that big business could help more by paying suppliers on time.

Mike Cherry, the FSB's policy chairman, said he wanted the conference to help set the agenda for a sector that is frequently portrayed as an engine for growth, skills, and economic recovery.

"The government must focus on how they can support these businesses in job creation and growth while the UK's large businesses need to play their part, too, in supporting ambitious small businesses, for example, through paying their smaller suppliers promptly," he said.

Despite multiple support schemes for small firms, research suggested only limited take-up or support. The FSB has called the current system "congested and confusing", pointing to the US as a better model.

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna: "We're committed to introducing a British investment bank"

The US Small Business Administration (SBA), part of government, has a large budget, long-term strategy, and influence at the centre of power, Mr Cherry said.

"The UK government should look at whether an institution built along the principles of the US SBA is needed - bringing together business support, export guidance, public procurement, and other small business functions into one place, providing a powerful small business voice within government."

'Seat at the table'

Shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna said that Labour would create an SBA to support small firms in their dealings with government departments.

Karen Mills, former head of the SBA and a former member of President Barack Obama's cabinet, will address the conference.

She said: "As governments look to the future, their plans have to be centred on growth, and the primary currency should be well-paying jobs.

"With that, any conversation focused on jobs must include small business and entrepreneurship."

She added: "When small business has a seat at the table, we can more effectively focus on entrepreneurship and innovation, which are critical components to a strong economic game plan in today's world."


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 915.

    Ooh, looks like Tory Central Office is out in full swing tonight. What's up boys, not looking forward to the drubbing you'll get at the voting booths?

    The reason small businesses aren't taking on workers is because you've bled them dry, cut off investment when they were making good & able to take on more ppl, now elections are drawing near those same businesses have gone down the pan.

  • rate this

    Comment number 914.

    Finally just because they live in a wealthy area have a nice house doesn’t constitute leadership, neither does this constitute either socialism or conservatism It simply indicates they have wealth Being wealthy does not mean they are professionals More often than not professionalism comes from knowing That in itself comes from learning to fight,working hard, experiencing life to become somebody

  • rate this

    Comment number 913.

    881 Michellegrand
    re: finding loopholes in regulations

    People find ways around regulations & law, answer therefore is not having tedious regulations but education i.e. people are inter-connected & inter-dependent.

    Paying proper taxes, paying higher wages, making less profit etc. may seem counter intuitive but it would secure a better financial climate for big business & workers alike.

  • rate this

    Comment number 912.

    More populism from this maniac government. Regulation has served this country well. It is why our financial, building, legal and engineering services are purchased around the world. Populist govt rhetoric on cutting red tape is one thing. Destroying this country's regulation infrastructure and leaving the doors wide open for developing world style corruption is another.

  • Comment number 911.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 910.

    And the Labour party wants to bring another quango to oversea it..please no more!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 909.

    902. Wulf Sternhammers Happystick

    "Plenty for those at the top and nothing for the rest of us"
    Sounds like Conservatism to me

    Have done as you & worked with immigrants. They keen as the wages are 6x back home they save hard, live/travel together etc

    So they can afford live on min wage, this arrangement its not long term. Been Jobcentre recently? They really mean business, not enough jobs though

  • rate this

    Comment number 908.

    896. sprout_2001

    Just a continuum, Marx credited in both and worshipped by both.

    It is clear that the Labour governments socialist love-in is further left than the current generation knows. Scary

    A promised beautiful dream in Russia turned into a deathly nightmare
    A common proponent of the two is control one absolute the other just slightly less so. This will be a red tape salespersons dream.

  • rate this

    Comment number 907.

    Seems the socialists are out in force on this one. Whining about making big companies pay more tax. What is needed is for government to spend less not more tax.

  • rate this

    Comment number 906.

    North Korea...a socialists nirvana...
    Anyhow,work tomorrow..goodnight.

  • rate this

    Comment number 905.

    Camewrong is making a pig's ear of regulations, particularly H&S which is there to protect workers, consumers & general public alike. Housebuilding is complex as better regs mean better buildings, not shoddy shells the buyer has no recourse to. We're still paying for the last lot of deregulation that went on in the 1980's by Thatcher, dread to think where this will lead.

  • Comment number 904.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 903.

    No ones interested in non constructive arguments corncobuk You make your won way in life whether on your own with a lonely or what ever you think socialism is all about What is important is that you recognize that people whom you classify as lesser than yourselves are results of your own reflective actions You bring those people up to your expectations working as whole country to improve all

  • rate this

    Comment number 902.

    I was unemployed for a while when I moved back to the UK from Spain.
    I took a job with an agency on minimum wage.It wasn't easy but we got by.There are jobs out there.Millions of immigrants seem to find them.
    Communism means socialism to me.Plenty for those at the top and nothing for the rest of us.

  • rate this

    Comment number 901.

    That means David Cameron or any other leader if you think you fit the bill that we will expect you to stand by those promises and we will expect you to deliver , we will expect only the best from you otherwise don’t bother we will find someone else who can !! We mean it as well That means for all classes Not just the ones at the top we expect to see results Most important a listening party

  • rate this

    Comment number 900.

    25 Minutes ago

    856. berserkerphil

    The average socialists is a lonely hearts with a knife and fork who wishes to meet a capitalist with a meat pie.


    If someone claimed to own a pie he stole i`m not suprised someone`s after him with a knife.

  • rate this

    Comment number 899.

    I'm not quite sure that socialists like to be called Communists?

    Maybe we could have a ridiculous argument on how good Communism is seeing as China is doing so well....

    But really, you should do a bit of reading up.

    Then IF these two quite different things are still the same to you

    You have my sympathy and pity

  • rate this

    Comment number 898.

    896. sprout_2001

    Wow! Socialists no longer like to be referred to as Communists now that Communism is dead. The hypocrisy.........

    Whatever you call it matey, it's all the same to me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 897.

    The most amazing part about losing is when you consider that your own disposition and those who you whish to look up to you, hoping that one day they will see the light can only do so through your own eyes To do this you first have to see their lives to understand what is leadership and you own actions have caused That day has now come We looking for the best irrespective of political persuasion

  • rate this

    Comment number 896.

    892. Wulf Sternhammers Happystick

    "But I do resent it going to people who have no intention of working."

    We all do

    2.5 Million "official" unemployed. 1/2 million vacancies? Means 2 Million with no choice

    "Polish and Lithuanian people and they LOATHE socialism.Wonder why?"

    Perhaps it might be that brutal Communism was called "Socialism". many people dont seem able to understand the difference?


Page 1 of 46


More Business stories



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.