Tough new EU rules

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Tough new rules imposed across Whitehall have stopped government departments adding to UK business costs by ‘gold plating’ EU legislation with additional regulations, reports Harris & Co Chartered Accountants Northampton.

In the past, Whitehall departments added additional burdens to EU laws - including rules on energy efficient buildings, and health and safety at work - which imposed extra costs and restrictions on business.

But new figures assessing the impact of a government regime introduced in 2011 to prevent gold-plating show that from July 2011 to December 2012, there has been almost no gold-plating of EU legislation.

Fallon says the government will continue to withhold agreement for any new regulations that gold-plate legislation. Ministers are also monitoring how other EU countries transpose legislation, in order to ensure the minimum necessary is implemented in the UK.

There may however be implications for accounting standard setters in the UK. ‘It might mean in future that we cannot amend accounting or auditing standards to suit the way we operate, if the government strictly applies the rule,’ says Julia Penny, audit and accounting content manager at CCH.

Business minister Michael Fallon told business leaders at the Centre for Policy Studies:

‘I want to redefine how regulation works, placing regulators on the side of the majority of law-abiding businesses.’

He also pledged to re-double government efforts to slash UK red tape.

Further details are available from Accountancy Live.

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