Former Tourism Minister and BHA back 'one in, two out' approach to regulation

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Red tape

Former Tourism Minister John Penrose has weighed into the discussion on red tape and regulations affecting hospitality businesses
Former Tourism Minister John Penrose has weighed into the discussion on red tape and regulations affecting hospitality businesses
Former Toursim Minister John Penrose has weighed in on the debate surrounding regulations and red tape for the hospitality industry by calling on the Government to keep its newly-made promise to stick to a 'one in, two out' rule.

Earlier this week, Business Minister Michael Fallon revealed the latest so-called 'blitz on bureaucracy' and announced a rule which ensures any new regulation that imposes a financial burden on businesses must be offset by red tape reductions that save double the costs.

The 'one in, two out' approach will apply to every Whitehall department from January 2013. Meanwhile BigHospitality understands an announcement regarding other possible regulation cuts of interest to the industry will be made in the next month - possibly in December.

Watching closely

Penrose, who wrote much of the coalition's anti-red tape policies and helped implement 'one in, one out' in September 2010, has urged the Government to keep its word.

What matters isn’t the accountancy of 'one in, one out’ or ‘one in, two out’ for each new regulation," Penrose argued. "The real prize is the culture change which this initiative will create in Whitehall and beyond. Before the coalition came to power, the business of Westminster and Whitehall was inventing new rules. That was how you made your mark as a Minister, civil servant or lobbyist.

"That’s what had to change," he added.

"It shows how far the Government has come that we’re now ready for the next step. The business world will be delighted, but will be watching closely to see results come through," Penrose concluded.

Culture change

Aside from a relax in regulation surrounding live music in pubs and bars​ and an eased burden on small businesses such as pubs in regards to health and safety inspections,​ the Government has largely gone quiet in recent months with relation to promised regulation cuts for hospitality businesses.

However we understand Ministers are preparing to announce the results of a 'Star Chamber' which Penrose convened earlier this year​ to investigate further red tape cuts to help the industry after a British Hospitality Association (BHA)-led taskforce reported to DCMS at the beginning of the year.

Speaking to BigHospitality, BHA chief executive Ufi Ibrahim echoed Penrose's welcome of the tougher approach to introducing regulation but also warned that the hospitality industry was yet to see evidence of the new rule in action.

"It's a step in the right direction to see a Government culture change which slowly reduces the weight of legislation for business. The key word here is slowly though, and so far we have seen nothing tangible," she said, revealing the association would be keeping pressure up on Government.

A DCMS spokesperson told BigHospitality it was working across Whitehall but warned a culture change in the approach to regulation would not happen overnight.

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