Retailers have welcomed the government's announcement that a number of retail regulations will be scrapped or simplified.

The proposals are the first results from the Red Tape Challenge, a public consultation which asked businesses and individuals which regulations should be removed.

The plans include: simplifying the procedures for age verification for selling age-restricted goods; replacing or simplifying more than 12 pieces of overlapping and costly consumer rights law with a single new piece of legislation; removing the need to have a licence to sell liqueur chocolates; and lowering the age for buying Christmas crackers.

Association of Convenience Stores chief executive James Lowman said: "These recommendations are a step in the right direction. The commitment to simplify the rules on age-restricted sales could make life easier for retailers. There are currently 18 different laws affecting different kinds of products, and this means confusion around training and compliance requirements."