Regulators may be given economic growth remit

9th April 2013

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  • Environment agencies ,
  • Central government



The business department (BIS) is consulting on proposals that would require regulators to consider how their activities affect the finances of the businesses they regulate

According to BIS, a “growth duty” will enable regulators like the Environment Agency and Natural England to respond more comprehensively to the challenge of stripping back regulatory “burdens” to the minimum and proactively support economic growth by incorporating it into their forward planning.

“The government’s priority is to promote growth in the economy. The regulatory climate is a key factor that impacts upon the willingness of businesses to invest and grow,” commented Michael Fallon, whose ministerial portfolio now straddles BIS and Decc.

The consultation, which closes on 19 April, states that supporting growth is “at best a secondary concern” for some regulators, and that clarifying in law that they “should be” considering the economic consequences of their actions will create a “regulatory environment conducive to growth”.

The proposals follow Lord Heseltine’s recommendations on boosting growth in the UK, published in November 2012.

Nearly all of his suggestions were formally adopted by the government last month, including the requirement that regulators publish the costs and benefits to business of changes to policy and practices ahead of their implementation.


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