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Warning over red tape challenge response


The Business Secretary Vince Cable has warned that Government plans to reduce red tape for businesses may be compromised amid growing concern from the public.


Speaking in Westminster last week, Cable claimed that members of the public and consumer groups were using the new Red Tape Challenge website to lobby for existing regulations to be maintained or increased.


Launched in April, the site gives firms and the public a chance to have their say on regulations affecting their business or lives.


The campaign forms part of the Government’s wider strategy to tackle excessive regulation and thus give businesses the freedom to innovate and grow.


However, the Prime Minister David Cameron may be forced to review his pledge to cut red tape if there is a lack of support for the deregulation plans.


‘One of our top priorities is to reduce that amount of regulation that small companies and start-ups face, but please don’t pretend this is easy,’ said Cable.


Pointing to the Red Tape Challenge website, he added: ‘Very perversely we are being bombarded by messages from the public saying please increase regulation.’


Last month the Chancellor George Osborne told the Institute of Directors’ annual conference: ‘There are lots of people who will oppose this, lots of pressure groups. We really need the people who make the arguments – that we need growth, we need expansion, we need new businesses, we need new business premises – to make sure they are heard. Otherwise it is Government alone defending itself against those pressure groups.’


Once online debate has closed, ministers will have three months to explain why a regulation was still required or it will be scrapped.