In Sajid Javid's first speech as the Conservative Government's new Business Secretary, he has today announced an Enterprise Bill with a commitment to cut red tape by £10 billion over the next 5 years.
An outline of the legislation, which will form part of the Queen's Speech on 27th May 2015, includes:
- New measures to support entrepreneurs and job creation;
- Red tape to be cut by at least £10 billion and target independent regulators for the first time;
- Small Business Conciliation Service to help settle disputes over late payment.
Speaking today at the Engine Shed business centre in Bristol, Mr Javid commented that the bill "will help make Britain the best place in Europe to start and grow a business, and help create 2 million more jobs over the next 5 years".
He added: "As part of our long-term economic plan, we will sweep away burdensome red tape, get heavy-handed regulators off firms' backs and create a Small Business Conciliation Service to help resolve disputes."
In what has been described as a "radical change", the government aims to reach its £10 billion target by incorporating independent regulators for the first time.
The BCA has long campaigned for the reduction of red tape in business, which is considered a significant obstacle along the path to business growth, investment and employment.
The BCA is delighted to learn of plans to significantly slash red tape policies, which will release flexible workspace operators from frustrating and often unnecessary processes that repeatedly hamper growth opportunities, leading to enormous potential within our sector.
Late payments support
The Enterprise Bill also outlines plans for a Small Business Conciliation Service, designed to help settle disputes between small and large businesses and ease the burden of late payment practices.
According to government statistics, the UK's small businesses are collectively owed over £32 billion in late payments, which is hindering growth and employment prospects. However, many small firms are not aware of their rights or are reluctant to launch legal challenges; therefore this new service will offer support where it is needed most.
Mr Javid added: "Small businesses are Britain's engine room and the success of our whole economy is built on the hard work and determination of the people who run and work for them. As Business Secretary I will always back them and, in my determination to get the job done, one of my first steps will be to bring forward an Enterprise Bill that helps them to succeed and create jobs."
Other measures outlined in the Bill include the extension and simplification of Primary Authority. This will allow a business to obtain advice on regulation from a single local council, thereby reducing the time and cost to businesses of working with different councils and multiple rules.
Further measures regarding proposals to cut red tape in Europe are also expected to be announced by the European Commission today.
Business Minister Anna Soubry said:
"We will be asking businesses for evidence in the coming weeks and months. We want them to be our partners in identifying and scrapping needless burdens at home and in Europe. It's important government gets behind small businesses - enabling them to get finance, get paid on time and get rid of red tape."
While we look forward to tracking the progress of the Business Secretary's new Enterprise Bill, we are not there yet, and the BCA will continue to lobby government for effective and noticeable changes, with particular attention to red tape policies, to help secure a brighter future for BCA Members and for the ongoing success of our sector as a whole.
The official press re