Hewitt admits to red tape burden
Trade and Industry secretary Patricia Hewitt has admitted that government and Brussels-generated regulation has placed burdens on UK business.
But Hewitt claimed the matter was a high priority for prime minister Tony Blair, but said red tap was not something that could be cut overnight, according to a report in the FT
The government has been under almost constant fire from business leaders and lobbying groups over regulation and red tape, facing claims that this adds significantly to the cost of doing business, and consequently makes Britain less competitive.
The issue of red tape came up during a heated exchange between Hewitt and shadow Tory chancellor Michael Howard.
Howard claimed it was unfair of the government to blame Brussels for the regulatory burden, saying it was ministers’ fault for opting into the European social chapter.
Hewitt claimed government needed a stronger voice in Brussels.