Chancellor to reveal details of ‘light touch’ regulation

Chancellor Gordon Brown will set out plans today to cut business red tape with a new “light touch” system of regulation.

Brown – who has promised to reduce the number of inspections faced by firms – will spell out the government’s new, risk based approach at talks with business leaders.

In an article for The Financial Times, he said that in future inspectors would target “bad traders” – bringing to an end the old system of continuous inspection.

“Under a risk-based approach, there is no unjustifiable inspection, form-filling or requirement for information,” he said.

“Not just a light touch but a limited touch. Instead of routine regulation trying to cover all, the risk-based approach targets the necessary few.”

The new approach would be applied widely – ranging from environmental health to financial services and even taxation.

Brown said that the government would bring in legislation in the new year to cut the number of regulatory bodies from 29 to just seven.

A second bill in the next parliamentary session would also abolish outmoded and unnecessary regulations, based on consultations with business.


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