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Government urges retailers to speak out on red tape

Published: 7 April 2011
Retail is the first industry to come under scrutiny as part of the Government's campaign to tackle unnecessary regulation, which kicked off today.
Government urges retailers to speak out on red tape
The Prime Minister David Cameron and Business Secretary Vince Cable launched the Red Tape challenge website, which will give the public a chance to have their say on regulations affecting their everyday lives.

Every few weeks a different set of regulations, organised around themes, will open on the website for people to comment on. Once a theme has closed to the public, the Prime Minister has given ministers three months to explain why a regulation is still required, or it will be scrapped.

The Retail phase opens today for four weeks, and covers topics such as restricted goods, Sunday trading, vehicles, parts and fuel and consumer information.

There is also a manufacturing phase which open for two weeks from June 16.

The campaign will also have six cross-cutting themes that affect all businesses and are open throughout the whole of the campaign. These themes are: employment law, pensions, company law, equalities, health and safety and environment legislation.

Mr Cable said: "The retail sector is a key part of our economy and essential to driving private sector-led growth. It also has to deal with hundreds of different regulations covering everything from employment law and health and safety through to consumer protection and the sale of offensive weapons.

"I urge you to visit the website and take a few minutes to tell us the regulations you deal with on a daily basis. This is your chance to make sure that consumers are properly protected from unscrupulous traders or give us the evidence we need to remove the unnecessary bureaucracy that stops your businesses from growing."

The BRC has welcomed the campaign and is working to provide feedback on which measures it thinks need to be scrapped.

BRC director of business and regulation Tom Ironside said: "Red tape isn't just an inconvenience. It ties up time and money that retailers would rather spend growing their businesses and expanding their workforces. It's in everyone's interests to make sure the regulations we do have are proportionate and genuinely needed."

He added: "This clear-out of old rules must be accompanied by a commitment on keeping new regulations to a minimum."

To have your say on the regulations affecting your business, visit


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