The RPC’s latest IVB report confirms that regulatory measures introduced by Government over the last year increased net direct costs to business by £9.9 billion.
When combined with the figures for the previous two years, the total increase for the parliament to date is £14.3 billion. This compares to the Government’s target of keeping costs constant and not increasing the regulatory burden on business during this period.
Almost half of this year’s increase in costs to business came from two measures:
- The Department for Levelling-up, Housing and Communities measure to change English Building Regulations to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions (£2.38 billion); and
- The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Electronic Communications Regulations which regulate public telecoms providers (£2.35 billion).
Only one new material regulation reduced the regulatory burden on business: the Environment Agency’s introduction of water abstraction e-alerts cut costs by £31.5 million for businesses with water extraction licences.
This year’s Business Impact Target score continues to demonstrate that the target would not appear to have had any impact on Government decisions over regulation of businesses.
Plans to remove the Business Impact Target
The ongoing review of the Better Regulation Framework is proposing to remove the Business Impact Target and our statutory role as the Independent Verification Body. Clauses to do this are included in the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill currently making its way through Parliament.