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Forum of Private Business

Forum cautiously welcomes the first Business Impact Target (BIT) report

28 June 2016 10:15


The Forum has given a cautious welcome to the Business Impact Target (BIT) report from the Better Regulation Executive, as the need for transparency is greater than some of the deficiencies that the report contains.

Ian Cass, Managing Director of the Forum of Private Business explained, “We believe that the need for transparency is absolutely vital as every few years we hear of how much the government has saved us in deregulation when businesses only ever see their reporting requirements going up."

“The omission in this report is one that we have with all regulation reporting – it does not include the taxation regime which is one of the most bureaucratic in the world and is likely to be increased with quarterly reporting requirements in the near future. This means that the report fails to comment on the issue of the National Living Wage and EU regulation when it argues that the state has “saved” businesses over £885 million.

“The report clearly needs to be comprehensive in the future – when the biggest deregulatory impact was to do with the plastic carrier bag charge, you know that the figures are only partial” explained Ian Cass. “There is however a realisation of this and perhaps the most important line of the report is about the government looking to reduce the annual cost of tax administration by £400 million by 2020”.

Report was published on 27 June 2016 and can be found at:

Between 8 May 2015 and 26 May 2016, five domestic regulatory provisions came into
force that will have a particularly significant impact on business.

• Plastic carrier bag charge: (BIT score of £-1,017m - i.e. will save businesses over £1 billion pounds)
• Protection during insolvency procedures: Prevents suppliers from terminating the supply
of utilities or IT supplies during insolvency procedures where there is a realistic prospect
of a rescue of the business. (BIT score: -£191.5m)
• Standardised packaging of tobacco: Requires standardised packaging for all cigarettes
and hand-rolling tobacco. This will improve public health by discouraging young people
from taking up smoking, supporting smokers who want to quit and helping people who
have quit to avoid relapsing back into smoking. (BIT score: £242m)
• Prohibition of psychoactive substances: Bans the generation of psychoactive drugs in
order to protect the public from the health risks they pose (BIT score: £128.5m)

The fifth regulatory provision - the National Living Wage was excluded from the analysis as the cost was offset by changes to National Insurance contributions (e.g. Employment allowance) so its impact could not be assessed.

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