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Regulatory Reform Bill becomes U.K. Act


LONDON— Plans to reduce the burden of regulation to businesses in the United Kingdom were boosted when on November 8 the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill entered the statute books and became an Act of Parliament.

From January next year, the Act will be used to help deliver the U.K. government's Better Regulation agenda.

Under the agenda, government departments are already preparing to publish simplification plans with specific proposals to deliver cuts in red tape.

Last month the Health & Safety Executive was the first major regulator to published simplification plans According to a statement from Cabinet Office the Act will allow the government and parliament to do more to strip away outdated and unnecessary red tape to further reduce burdens on businesses, public and voluntary sectors.

"Where appropriate, the Act will be used to help merge the existing 31 national regulators into seven themed bodies as recommended by Philip Hampton in his 2005 report," the Cabinet Office said in statement.

Pat McFadden, Member of Parliament and Cabinet Office Minister said in a statement: "The Government makes no apology for regulations that provide protections like health and safety in the workplace, rights for employees and consumers, fair competition in business, and protection for the environment and vulnerable groups in society. This Act will help ensure that where regulation is necessary, it is as transparent, targeted and user friendly as possible."

William Sargent, executive chair of the Better Regulation Executive said in a statement: "This Act allows out-of-date or unnecessary legislation to be removed more quickly and efficiently. It is a tremendous step forward which will allow us to reap the benefits of the simplification proposals which departments have identified."