Published on July 29th, 2011 | by Dean Carr
Vince Cable to scrap liqueur chocolate licence
Retailers that sell liquer-filled chocolates will no longer need an alcohol licence under a Government promise to scrap more than half of all the regulations that affect shopkeepers.
The £35-a-year licence to sell fly spray, household bleach and other poisonous products will also be abolished for all but the most serious chemicals. And the 20 separate age-verification regulations regarding the sale of knives, tobacco and alcohol will all be merged into one simpler regulation.
The so-called “bonfire of the retail red tape” was announced by Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, making the high street the first industry to benefit from the Government’s drive to reduce business bureaucracy.
Though the scrapping of 130 of the 257 retail regulations – and the simplifying of a further 30 – was widely welcomed, many pointed out that the majority of the rules to be abolished were antiquated regulations that were already ignored and had no impact on a shopkeeper’s bottom line.
Most of the 130 scrapped regulations related to Trading with the Enemy, a wartime measure to stop shopkeepers selling goods to places including Siam, USSR and the Channel Islands.
But Mr Cable insisted move was more than symbolic. “For small companies particularly these [regulations] can be crippling. I think this will make a real difference.”
In total 25 areas are being tackled by the Government, including health and safety regulations and employment laws – areas which many retailers said would make a far bigger difference.
Stephen Robertson, director-general of the British Retail Consortium, said: “Scrapping regulations disused since Second World War may make the scale of action look better but regulatory reform isn’t a numbers game. It’s about reducing the impact.”
Sunday Trading, one possible area of reform, has been left untouched.
Source : The Telegraph