Government plans aim to slash red tape for employers by 30% by 2010

A third of red tape will be cut by 2010, under plans unveiled by business secretary John Hutton yesterday.


Fresh measures to slash 30% of the burden on businesses, revealed in government report Delivering Simplification Plans, included taking the payment of tax credits from employers and giving it to HM Revenue and Customs, and making small businesses’ rate relief automatic.


The removal of the need for companies to hold an annual general meeting, a faster process for planning consents and halving the number of health and safety forms employers have to complete has already gone some way towards meeting the 2010 goal to save businesses and the third sector £3.5bn, Hutton said.


He argued that despite not one single piece of red tape being reformed using legislation introduced last November to enable the government to do so, the new report shows businesses are already saving £800m a year by reducing unnecessary bureaucracy.


“Today’s plans demonstrate we are making significant headway on what is a difficult and challenging agenda,” he said.


“But we are not complacent. The government must continue to back up its proposals with credible action across all sectors. We are also outlining ways to tackle our new target to cut public sector bureaucracy by 30% by 2010 in the public sector.”


Measures include:




  • Binning 50% of health and safety forms which duplicated information.


  • Around 60,000 private companies no longer need to appoint a company secretary.


  • 500,000 – 750,000 private companies no longer need to hold an annual general meeting.


  • Nearly half a million planning applications from business stand to benefit from new, e-enabled processes.

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