Tories say business can repel regulators with an audit

The Tories appear to be proposing a whole new line of work for auditors and
advisers in a policy among a raft of proposals for cutting red tape.

Ken Clarke, the shadow business secretary and former chancellor of the
exchequer, announced that the Tories, if they win the next election, would
“curb” the powers of “intrusive” government inspectors and regulators by
“allowing firms to arrange their own, externally audited inspections and,
providing they pass, to refuse entry to official inspectors thereafter.”

He also wants the public to nominate unpopular regulations for review by
Parliament and would add a “sunset clause” to all regulations and regulators so
they have to periodically justify their relevance.

His flagship policy is to create a “star chamber”, chaired by himself, that
would review regulation ensuring that as each new regulation came in another
would be taken out of service in a “one in, one out” approach to rules.

Clarke said: “Under a Labour government the regulatory burden has got out of
control – costing more than £77bn at the last count. It’s high time the
government got off people’s backs and started helping them instead. These new
policies are the biggest and most serious attempt to lighten the load and I hope
they’re the spark that lights the bonfire of red tape.”

During his speech he attacked the burden of red tape under Labour further
making an passing statement on tax but providing no detail.

He said: “The tax code is twice as long and complicated as it was in my day.
And British life and business suffer.”

Read more

Ken Clarke’s policy announcement
Read his party conference speech

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