Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
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Better regulation delivers benefits

Better regulation delivers benefits

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 19 October 2009

Nearly two thirds of people in Britain agreed that they benefit from regulation in their everyday lives and 70 per cent think that the benefits of regulation outweigh the burdens, according to research published today in a new report from the Department for Business.

The “Better regulation, better benefits: getting the balance right” report, undertaken by the Better Regulation Executive, looked at the benefits regulation delivers and examined what factors help shape the public perception of regulation. Through six detailed case studies it examined how better regulation principles and practices deliver a range of positive outcomes, such as through the National Minimum Wage and the Smoke Free laws in public and working places.

Ian Lucas, Better Regulation Minister, said:

“Britain has the best business environment in Europe, and one of the best in the world, according to the World Bank. And regulation makes a vital contribution to Britain’s economic growth, protection of the environment and health and well being of its citizens. But sometimes the way regulation is perceived in Britain does not reflect the reality of the situation.

“Often regulation brings cost and inconvenience, much of which impacts on business and especially small businesses. This is why it is important to focus on making regulation as efficient as possible and make sure benefits outweigh the costs. Better regulation solutions are helping to make smarter laws with more effective outcomes.”

Key stakeholders from across the business community, trade unions and consumer groups, government and regulatory community signed up to a joint statement today that signalled their support of the better regulation agenda and its work to maximise benefits and minimise costs.

Regulation has wide ranging and significant impacts not only on the economy but virtually every aspect of our lives. Regulation makes a difference by:

supporting common standards for products, which help lower transaction costs and build trust, contributing around £5 billion a year to the UK economy; improving health and life expectancy by reducing emissions to air, including cutting sulphur oxides by 76% and dust by 37% since 1998; reducing fatalities and injuries at work, which have fallen by 70 per cent since 1974; andimproving living standards and reducing inequality for the one million people that benefit from the National Minimum Wage.

The report sets out the challenge as changing not only the way government regulates but also the way people think about regulation. Better understanding of the law can increase business confidence and investment, improve compliance and promote respect.

Notes to Editors

1. The report, “Better Regulation, Better Benefits: Getting the balance right”, is published today and can be found at

2. The report is published along with a joint statement from a wide range of government, regulatory, business and consumer organisations, supporting the proposition that “Better regulation supports better outcomes”. This statement can be found at

3. The report draws on new research, “The Benefits of Regulation – A public and business perceptions study”, commissioned jointly by the Better Regulation Executive, the Environment Agency, the Food Standards Agency and the Health and Safety Executive. This can be found at The case studies which the report draws on can be found at

4. The Better Regulation Executive is part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. It leads the Government’s ambitious regulatory reform agenda, aiming to make life as simple as possible for businesses, by changing, challenging and even cutting existing and new regulation. For more information about the Better Regulation Executive and its work, as well as chance to contribute your ideas on how to change things, go to

5. Any further information please contact Nic Fearon-Low on 020 7215 0782.


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