As the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index repeatedly shows, entrepreneurship and opportunity are the primary keys to overall prosperity. It is because life in society is a creative dynamic process of discovering how best to serve the needs of other people and to adjust to them.
If we are to become the most prosperous nation within a generation, we will need to liberate that spirit of innovation, service and commerce which has always served our country so well.
I was therefore delighted to see new measures to support entrepreneurs and job creation have been set out in Sajid Javid’s first speech as Business Secretary:
- government commits to Enterprise Bill in first Queen’s Speech
- red tape to be cut by at least £10 billion and for the first time target independent regulators
- EU Commission also set to unveil plans to cut EU red tape today (19 May 2015)
- new Small Business Conciliation Service to help settle disputes over payment
From the announcement:
In a radical change, the government’s ambitious target for cutting red tape will look beyond Whitehall and extend to independent regulators for the first time. They will be expected to contribute to a target of at least £10 billion.
Another central measure in the Enterprise Bill will be the creation of a Small Business Conciliation Service to help settle disputes between small and large businesses, especially over late payment practices. Small firms are owed over £32 billion in late payments, but many of them are not aware of their rights or are reluctant to launch legal challenges. This service will build on the existing suite of measures to tackle poor payment practices.
The bill will also support businesses through the extension and simplification of Primary Authority. This scheme allows a business to get advice on regulation from a single local council and this advice must then be respected by all other councils – reducing the time and cost to businesses of having to obey different rules.
The government is also expecting the European Commission to announce today proposals to cut red tape in Europe. This follows recommendations for reform from a UK business-led taskforce set up by the Prime Minister that the government has lobbied hard for. Measures being pushed for include a commitment to propose lighter regimes for small businesses in new EU legislation, greater independence for the Commission’s Regulatory Scrutiny Board, and improved consultation and impact assessments.
In previous posts on regulation, I have indicated how much work is to be done to cut economic regulation down to size. I’m glad Sajid Javid is taking a lead so soon after his appointment and I look forward to supporting him.