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Deregulation Bill 2013-14
The Bill was announced in the Queen's Speech on 8 May 2013 and aims to reduce the burden of excessive regulation on businesses.
In April 2011, the coalition government launched a website challenging the public to help cut unnecessary regulations. The Red Tape challenge sought to give the public and businesses a chance to have their say on regulations that affected their everyday lives. The campaign was part of the government's growth agenda and sought to tackle the stock of more than 21,000 statutory instruments that were currently putting barriers in the way of businesses, volunteers and the public.
Michael Fallon said that a new phase of the Red Tape Challenge would be launched in summer 2013, focusing on key areas for growth and this year, the government replaced the One-in, One-out rule with the more challenging One-In, Two-Out rule - under which departments must find savings worth double the cost of any new regulations on business.
The Bill includes measures which will:
- Reduce or remove the burdens on businesses and civil society and facilitate growth
- Reduce or remove burdens on public bodies, the taxpayers or individuals
- Repeal of legislation that was no longer of any practical use
The Bill will also contain measures to require non-economic regulators to have regard to the impact of their actions upon growth; reducing the qualifying period for Right to Buy and Right to Acquire to three years; exempting health and safety law for those self-employed whose work activities pose no potential risk of harm to others; removing a power for employment tribunals to make wider recommendations in successful discrimination cases; no longer obliging councils to produce assessments after designating air quality zones.
The British Chambers of Commerce welcomed the Bill, but warned it must be "implemented without delay to increase busi-ness confidence, and allow firms to focus on growth".
The Institute of Directors described the Bill as a "missed opportunity" as it did little to "cut back red tape for employers and nothing to tackle the problem of 'gold-plated' EU regulation."
The Bill was introduced in the House of Commons by Oliver Letwin MP on 23 January 2014. The Bill was read for the first time and ordered to be printed. The second reading took place on 3 February 2014, where after a short debate, the Bill was passed to a Public Bill Committee.
The first day in committee took place on 25 February 2014. The committee heard oral evidence from witnesses including the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, Trades Union Congress, British Chambers of Commerce, BAE Systems, R3 and Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers.
The third day of committee took place on 4 March 2014. The committee considered clauses 3-10 and schedules 1-3 of the Bill. Clauses 3-9 and schedules 1-3 were agreed to. Clause 10 was agreed to on division.
On the sixth day of committee (13 March 2014), the committee considered clauses 31-43 and schedules 12-15 of the Bill. Clauses 31-43 and schedules 13-15 of the Bill were agreed to. Schedule 12 was agreed to, as amended.
The seventh day of committee was held on 18 March 2014. The committee considered clauses 44-60 and schedules 16-17 of the Bill. Clauses 44-57, 59-60 and schedule 16 were agreed to. Clause 58 and schedule 17 were agreed to.
The ninth day of committee was held on 25 March 2014. The committee considered clauses 68 and 69 of the Bill. Clause 69 was agreed to. Clause 68 was agreed to, as amended. New Clauses 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 18 and 19 were added to the Bill. The Bill was subsequently reported with amendments.