Government is urging businesses and individuals to give their views on overregulation via a new website.
Every few weeks a new set of regulations will be uploaded for comment on www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk, with retail being examined first.
Following this, every few weeks a new set of regulations - organised around themes - will open on the website for anyone to comment on.
Ministers will then have three months to justify why a regulation, raised on the website, is still required, or it will be scrapped.
Former director general of the BRC Dr Kevin Hawkins has been appointed the sector champion for retail to provide “expert knowledge” and will also act as an intermediary between retail and Government.
Hawkins said: “The moans and groans of businesses about regulation can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. By simplifying the trading environment we can free up your time to concentrate on the things that matter to your business.
“This is an opportunity for companies large and small to think hard about your business and what you would change in the regulation that plays a role in your everyday life.“
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “The retail sector is a key part of our economy and essential to driving private sector-led growth. It also has to deal with hundreds of different regulations.
“Some of these regulations are there for good reasons, protecting employees, businesses or the public. But some serve no purpose at all.”
The Prime Minister David Cameron said: “We need to tackle regulation with vigour, both to free businesses to compete and create jobs, and give people greater freedom and personal responsibility.
“Be in no doubt: all those unnecessary rules that place ridiculous burdens on our businesses and on society – they must go, once and for all.”
The campaign is part of the Government’s growth agenda and will tackle more than 21,000 regulations that are “putting barriers in the way of businesses, volunteers and the public”.
The BRC’s director of business and regulation Tom Ironside said: “After all the promises which have been made about reducing the burden of regulation on businesses, this is a good start. But it won’t be enough only to remove the trivial rules which affect a handful of businesses.
“Red tape isn’t just an inconvenience. It ties up time and money that retailers would rather spend growing their businesses and expanding their workforces.
“This clear-out of old rules must be accompanied by a commitment on keeping new regulations to a minimum. The Government can prove its good intentions by reducing the impact of major new burdens being introduced for retailers, such as the supermarket adjudicator and tobacco display ban.”
Some of the regulations being put under the microscope include:
- The Indication of Prices (Beds) order 1978 which prevents people from specifying a price when re-selling a bed;
- The Pedal bicycles (safety) regulations 2010 which compel all bikes sold in the UK to be fitted with a bell; and
- Various Orders prohibiting companies from Trading with the Enemy dating from the war years when countries like French Indo-China were enemies.