The government is encouraging retailers to contact officials with details of business regulations that need to be scrapped.

Minister for the Cabinet Office John Hutton has launched a web portal – at www.betterregulation.gov.uk – for businesses to challenge government to simplify or scrap unnecessary regulations. The government is attempting to prove its red tape-cutting credentials by promising to respond within 90 days to proposals submitted in this way.

It has also promised to interview small businesses to gauge how much it costs them to comply with regulations. Hutton said: “If we are serious about delivering better regulation by tackling the cost of admin burdens on business, we first need to be able to measure exactly what that cost is. It will be an important way for businesses to hold the government to account on our success in delivering better regulation that lightens the load on business.”

At the same time, the Department of Trade & Industry has made a start on its new regime by launching a consultation to revoke three pieces of outdated competition law. First for the chop are the 1950 Dental Goods Order, the 1970 Restrictions on Agreements (Estate Agents) and the 1953 Imported Timber Order.

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