PM will break promise to reduce red tape, warns Reform think tank

PRIME MINISTER David Cameron will break his promise to reduce red tape for businesses by the end of this Parliament, according to an independent think tank.

Prime Minister David Cameron

A study by Reform reveals his Government has removed £1.2bn worth of regulation since 2010, but added an extra £4.3bn.

And its authors say this increase of £3.1bn is a conservative estimate.

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The study also claims the Government mistakenly counted as its biggest deregulatory success a decision by the Department for Work and Pensions to change the way that private pension providers account for inflation.

Both the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats pledged to tackle regulation in their 2010 manifestos.

In 2011, Mr Cameron wrote an open letter to Cabinet ministers promising to lead the “first government in modern history to leave office having reduced the overall burden of regulation rather than increasing it”.

The report praises the Coalition’s efforts in trying to meet this challenge, but says it has ultimately been unsuccessful.

Its authors recommend the next Government sticks to a one-in, one-out rule whereby every extra £1 of new regulation must be offset by at least £1 of deregulation.

But the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills rejected the report and said efforts to cut red tape have been independently verified by regulators.

A spokesman said: “We’ve delivered a net saving to business of well over £1.5bn a year.”