Less red tape or more pre-election fluff?

Mar 16 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Writing in the Times today, Patience Wheatcroft echoes what many employers feel about the latest round of pre-election promises to cut Britain's growing mountain of red tape – although, as she points out, the suggestion by the Better Regulation Task Force that cutting red tape could boost the UK's GDP by more than one percent "is a figure that no Chancellor can afford to ignore".

Nevertheless, she says:

In the Labour Party manifesto of 1997, Tony Blair himself promised not to “impose burdensome regulations on business” and to “cut unnecessary red tape”. But it is so much easier to talk of that when not in government than to actually do it once in office. Whatever the claims that the Government may now make to having cut red tape — and we will surely hear more of them today — business knows that the regulatory burden has grown under Labour. In the World Economic Forum’s international competitiveness league, Britain has fallen from fourth to eleventh, brought down by the weight of regulation.

The Times | Brown still off-target in fight on red tape