1 Defra's Simplification Plan shows commitment to reducing red tape

Defra's Simplification Plan shows commitment to reducing red tape As part of the Government's unprecedented dedication to reducing red tape, Defra have today published their second Simplification Plan, 'Maximising Outcomes, Minimising Burdens', which clearly shows continued commitment to tackling administrative burdens across the agriculture and rural affairs sector.

Launching the plan, Environment Secretary David Miliband said: "Regulation is a key tool for Defra in trying to achieve 'One Planet Living' - where there is a balance between what we give and what we take from the natural environment. It provides high environmental standards and protects human and animal health, but the regulations we have in place must be proportionate and focussed on achieving outcomes.

"Over the last 12 months we have identified projects which will deliver a 30% cut in red tape by 2010. Reducing administrative burdens is just one aspect of providing a better regulatory experience to the businesses we interact with and of delivering better outcomes for society as a whole. Here in Defra we are committed to risk-based regulation and to developing a real partnership approach to regulation with business."

The UK is already one of the best places in the world to do business, but vital to continued economic success, the Government has committed to a 25% reduction in overall administrative burdens by 2010. This is one of the most radical programmes in the world and one that is to be repeated year on year.

The Government's response to the Better Regulation Task Force's report 'Less is More' committed all departments to publishing rolling programmes of simplification as a key part of taking forward the Better Regulation agenda.

The Plans represent a key opportunity for business and stakeholders in all sectors to be involved in helping Government reduce unnecessary regulatory burden. Today sees the publication of over 500 initiatives across government amounting to savings of over £2 billion.

Hosting a meeting of business, public sector and third sector representatives at 10 Downing Street, Cabinet Office Minister, Pat McFadden said: "Businesses repeatedly cry out for government to cut through red tape and feel they have heard it before. Today we are announcing not a new pledge but a detailed and specific plan of action, involving 500 initiatives to ease the administrative burden. We will continue to work in collaboration with business to build on these initiatives and to make billions of pounds worth of real savings."

* A copy of Defra's Plan can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/regulat/regulat.asp#reform
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