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News - 15 October 2013

Government welcomes business-led plan to cut EU red tape

Prime Minister David Cameron has welcomed radical business-led proposals to cut back EU regulation and to unleash the potential of the EU single market, helping European businesses to thrive in the global race.

Thirty recommendations, drawn up by a taskforce comprising 6 heavy-hitters from the UK business community appointed by the Prime Minister, have been presented to the Cabinet. They have consulted over 100 business voices across Europe and drawn on over 250 ideas for EU reforms.

The taskforce’s report, ‘Cut EU red tape’, sets out how the EU could promote enterprise and boost growth by sweeping away poorly understood and burdensome rules and preventing similarly pointless legislation in the future.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“Business people, particularly owners of small firms, are forced to spend too much time complying with pointless, burdensome and costly regulations and that means less time developing a new product, winning contracts or hiring young recruits. These recommendations will hopefully help, as long as the European Commission listens and taks action.”

Proposals to cut EU red tape include:

  • Scrapping EU-wide requirements for small businesses in low-risk sectors to keep written health and safety risk assessments. These record-keeping requirements cost businesses time and money. This would benefit at least 220,000 UK small businesses and save businesses across the EU an estimated €2.7 billion
  • reforming employment law where it prevents firms from creating jobs, and abandoning plans to introduce complex new rules on employee consultation and subcontracting
  • exempting micro-enterprises from all new employment law proposals where possible
  • Abandoning plans to force small businesses such as one-man gardening firms and carpenters to pay fees to register to collect and transport waste, even when the materials involved are harmless and the quantities small. Abolishing these rules could benefit 460,000 small businesses in the UK and many more across Europe
  • taking urgent action to simplify costly and complex chemicals regulation, which threatens the competiveness of hundreds of small firms
  • boosting e-commerce, including by simplifying labeling requirements and improving standards for cross-border parcel delivery

Further proposals for EU measures to support growth include:

  • rapid agreement of faster approval processes for the pharmaceuticals industry through the new clinical trials regulation
  • fast-tracking measures to set a maximum cap on the fees that could be applied to card, internet and mobile payments, thus reducing costs for retailers and SMEs and through them for consumers, providing a clear, comprehensive framework to cover card, internet and mobile payments

The 6 business leaders were appointed by the Prime Minister in July as part of the government’s drive to cut bureaucracy and promote growth. They are:

  • Marc Bolland, Chief Executive M&S
  • Ian Cheshire, CEO Kingfisher
  • Glenn Cooper, Managing Director, ATG Access
  • Louise Makin, CEO BTG
  • Dale Murray CBE, Entrepreneur and Angel Investor
  • Paul Walsh, Diageo
  • The group was chaired by Business Minister Michael Fallon

For those who are looking for a more personal approach on a range of issues, including Business strategy, business recovery, sale or acquisition, VAT and all other tax strategies, contact us at ABDS.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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