The coalition government made great play of the need to cut red tape and costs from new regulation, both before and after the general election. It believes legislation should be periodically reviewed under a sunset clause to make sure it’s worth keeping.
The basic mantra is that any new legislation with cost and time implications will have to be balanced by reductions somewhere else – deputy prime minister Nick Clegg’s so-called “One in, one out” principle. New regulations are to be screened by a ‘star chamber’, the Reducing Regulation Committee, headed up by business secretary Vince Cable.
In principle, that sounds like common sense. Business often complains that innovation is stifled by over-complicated, often overlapping and sometimes counterproductive regulations.
But will it really work for environmental measures, such as energy and climate change regulations and taxes? (more…)