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FSB Calls on Government to Reduce and Clarify Regulations Applicable to Small Firms

By News Team
Published on 5 July 2021

In a welcome move, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) called for a regulatory reduction and clarification for small businesses on the first of this month (01 July 2021).

The FSB's research shows that regulatory requirements are a key concern for small businesses and the time is ripe for changes to the UK's regulation system.

Long before the pandemic and the country's exit from the European Union, small businesses were struggling to manage the regulatory changes they were expected to keep across on a day-to-day basis.

Since a new EU-UK trade deal took effect, around a fifth of small firms say they have a reduced understanding of the regulations they are faced with in the round, with almost 40 percent struggling to understand new rules linked to fresh arrangements with the EU.

Off the back of the findings, FSB is recommending a British Columbia style regulatory system, which would help to capitalise on the opportunities that withdrawing from the bloc presents.

In the early 2000s, the Province underwent huge changes to their regulatory system which saw unnecessary rules and bureaucracy slashed, while crucially ensuring other regulations were clear to understand, helping to spur productivity.

The reforms saw the regulatory burden, including the slimming down of paperwork that small businesses need to complete for different parts of government, reduced by a third.

FSB is urging the Government to learn from the British Columbia model, appointing a minister to be accountable for the Government's regulatory reduction programme, alongside:

  • A public central database of all regulatory requirements, with a league table showing departmental progress against the one third reduction target.
  • On reaching the one third target, installation of a 'one-in, one-out' or 'one-in, two-out' rule regarding new regulations.
  • Widespread reform of regulation culture within the UK, moving the country towards simplified regulations and regulatory requirements, and reinvigoration of Departments as they undertake regulatory impact assessments on new proposals.

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