The Communities and Local Government Secretary, Eric Pickles, has pledged that his department will exceed the Government's requirement on red tape, the "one-in, one-out" rule. This is in the Coalition Agreement and is the arrangement "whereby no new regulation is brought in without other regulations being cut by a greater amount."
Eric Pickles has told the Municipal Jounral:
"As a government, we need to go further in slashing red tape. For every regulation my department creates, it will axe two. I think it’s a practice we should look at adopting across Whitehall."
He added that the previous Government engaged in "piggy-backing their pet projects under the guise of an EU Directive."
The requirement takes into account the impact of a regulation in terms of its cost to business and the voluntary sector. A department can't just bring in a new regulation that costs a billion pounds and remove one that reduces costs by a million pounds.
The DCLG has been comfortably exceeding the reuqirement both in terms of the number of regulations and their overall impact. Indeed it has achieved a "one in, 11 out" ratio.
Local government minister Bob Neill reported to Parliament on May 1st on the changes between 1 June 2011 and 31 January 2012. Of the 34 new statutory instruments brought in by the DCLG during that time most were judged to be neutral in terms of their regulatory impact:
11 were deregulatory or otherwise beneficial to business; one was regulatory (implementing an EU directive), the remainder had no quantifiable impact on the private and voluntary sectors.
The cost of the new regulation is estimated at £4 million. Among the deregulation measures where the savings have been estimated, one has saved £23.3 million and another £19.6 million.