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Annie Hayes

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Tories vow to slash red tape

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The Conservatives have unveiled plans to lift the red tape burden if they win office at the next election; amongst the radical proposals are plans to abolish the new statutory dismissal procedures that were introduced in October.

The new steps-system means that employers can wind up in the dock if they fail to follow the correct procedures.

Shadow Secretary of State for Deregulation, John Redwood said: “I agree with the Federation of Small Business that these regulations are a ‘minefield’ for small firms. The regulations are so complicated that the DTI spent nearly a quarter of a million pounds reprinting its guide to them.”

At the heart of the deregulation proposals are plans to downsize the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Redwood and the Shadow Secretary of State for Industry, Stephen O’Brien declared that as part of a Conservative Value for Money Action Plan, the number of staff employed at the central department would be cut from 4,000 to just 850.

If in administration, the Tories say they would create two core DTI teams: one to deregulate and one to minimise the effect of EU regulations.

Mr O’Brien said: “Labour’s so-called ‘better regulation’ has meant more regulation. Government policy and administrative creep have led to a deluge of over-regulation. Businesses large and small have made it clear that the DTI is moving in the wrong direction.”

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Annie Hayes

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