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Blair sharpens resolve to axe red tape

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Red tape is costing the UK investment sector and the general economy around £14bn a year and Tony Blair has announced 500 measures to cut the burden by at least £2bn.

Proposals include cutting the amount of paperwork required by charities, jettisoning the paper section of the UK driving licence, simplifying rules for planning applications and allowing importers and exporters greater use of the Internet to run their admin systems, which would in turn mean better saving and investment in the UK economy.

Cutting unnecessary bureaucracy by 25% by 2010 has been dubbed “ambitious” by William Sergeant, head of better regulation at the Cabinet Office. “Amongst that £14bn there are some costs we have no intention of doing anything about because they provide perfectly good benefits in terms of the best investment of public funds,” he said.

Charities will also benefit, as the Charity Commission has promised to cut the admin burden in the sector by at least 25% over the next three years. Chief executive of the Charity Commission, Andrew Hind, said: “Anything we can do to free them up from unnecessary bureaucracy to get on with their vital work is important. Our programme will ensure the sector as a whole really feels the benefit and that charitable funds represent the best investment in their respective sectors.”




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