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UK's Prime Minister David Cameron trumpets red tape cuts to woo business bosses

Monday, 27 January 2014 - 8:29am IST | Place: London | Agency: Reuters
British Prime Minister David Cameron will tell company owners on Monday that his government has exceeded its targets for cutting back over-zealous business regulations and will save firms millions of pounds per year.
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British Prime Minister David Cameron will tell company owners on Monday that his government has exceeded its targets for cutting back over-zealous business regulations and will save firms millions of pounds per year.

Cameron's appeal for support from the business world in the run-up to the 2015 election comes at a time when the opposition Labour party is facing heavy business criticism for planning to raise income taxes and shake up the energy and banking industries.

Speaking at the Federation of Small Business, Cameron will say his government had beaten its target, set in late 2012, of finding 3,000 unnecessary regulations to cut or simplify, and had already implemented 800 changes.

"We will be the first government in modern history to have reduced, rather than increased, domestic business regulation during our time in office," Cameron will say, according to extracts of his speech released by his office in advance.

"We have trawled through thousands of pieces of regulation - from the serious to the ridiculous, and we will be scrapping or amending over 3,000 regulations - saving business well over 850 million pounds ($1.40 billion) every single year."

He will say that by March 2015 the government will have cut 80,000 pages of environmental regulations that could save businesses up to 100 million pounds per year. Simplification of housing regulations would help home builders save around 60 million pounds per year, he said.

Further details were not released ahead of the speech. The attempt to burnish his Conservative party's pro-business credentials ahead of the election comes a day after Labour's finance spokesman Ed Balls had to defend his party from criticism that its plans to increase income taxes for high earners were "anti-business".

Labour is hoping to win over voters who are disgruntled with rising living costs by campaigning to break up big banks and reform the energy market. But its approach has attracted criticism from business lobby groups. ($1 = 0.6060 British pounds)




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