Task force demands more thought for small firms

The Government has come under fire for failing to consider the impact on
small business when implementing legislation.

A report by the better regulation task force said the Government paid
inadequate recognition to the fact the vast majority of UK businesses were
small or medium-size, and that the information for small firms on legislation
was frequently difficult to obtain and too general.

It also said government departments did not work together to mitigate the
impact of regulations on small businesses and did not recognise the expertise
of their management.

Task force chairman Lord Haskins said small business was often put at a
competitive disadvantage against larger firms. "Too often government
departments underestimate the impact of their decisions on small businesses. We
want to see better consultation and clearer assessments of the likely impact of

Key recommendations from the task force include increasing the thoroughness
of regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) ensuring the provision of easily
understandable information through various media about upcoming or proposed
legislation and giving businesses three months consultation.


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