The Queen’s Speech on 27 May 2015 included one bill of particular interest to the business community: the Enterprise Bill, aimed at reducing burdens on small businesses by cutting red tape.
The Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, outlined in a recent speech that the Enterprise Bill intended to:
– serve the interests of small businesses in particular;
– simplify and clarify the business environment generally;
– help employers to create an additional 2 million jobs; and
– ensure that growth is not obstructed by disproportionate industrial action.
The government hopes to reduce bureaucracy and help small businesses by:
– cutting a further £10 billion in red tape over the coming Parliament;
– pressing EU institutions to reduce needless burden on business;
– ensuring the government implements EU law in a way that does not put UK business at a competitive disadvantage;
– putting a strict brake on new regulation by abolishing two regulations for each new regulation it introduces (known as the ‘one in, two out’ programme);
– improving the business rates system before the 2017 revaluation;
– abolishing national insurance for apprentices under 25;
– making it easier for small business to access the “primary authority” programme (an initiative allowing business to obtain advice on regulation from a single local council);
– widening the powers of representative bodies to act on behalf of small businesses to challenge large customers in respect of grossly unfair payment terms; and
– setting up a Small Business Conciliation Service to help small businesses settle their disputes with large corporations without the need for court action.
The government intends to call on traders to give the evidence needed to reduce government intervention in business.
At present, it is not completely clear which of these measures will appear in the Enterprise Bill itself, and which will dealt with by regulation.
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