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Cross-Government Project to cut 25% administrative burdens could save €500 million across the economy

· High Level Group on Business Regulation examining and reducing existing administrative burdens

· Dept. of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation succeeds in cut of 22% of administrative burden being placed on business

Minister for Small Business, John Perry TD has stressed the need for business to actively engage with the fight against red tape. Minister Perry raised this at a meeting of the High Level Group on Business Regulation.

Speaking after Chairing the meeting Minister Perry said: "The High Level Group brings together representatives from Government, business and trade unions; it is an important forum for Government to hear directly from business and vice versa.

"The Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has already cut the administrative burden it places on business by 22% but in some cases capitalising on this reduction requires businesses to adopt newer, more simplified approaches that are now available. I urge the business representatives on the High Level Group to get that message out."

The Group was also briefed on the launch of the cross-Government project to cut administrative burdens in seven Departments and Revenue by 25% by the end of 2012. The first phase involves measuring the administrative burdens imposed on business so that a quantifiable reduction is possible and measurement is now underway in Revenue and the Departments of Social Protection and Communications, Energy & Natural Resources. The project should result in a saving of €500 million across the economy once the 25% target is achieved.

Minister Perry continued: "I will be convening workshops around the country as part of this cross-Government project to hear directly from businesses about practical suggestions for simplifying the administrative burden imposed by regulation. This is another important area where participation from firms, especially SMEs, can help to speed up progress in making Ireland one of the best places in the world to do business." The Group also discussed the initial work of a Subgroup set up to examine Public Procurement issues, particularly as they affect SMEs, and the engagement of Local Authorities with business.

Minister Perry recognised the Group’s role as a source of ideas for examining and reducing existing administrative burdens; it has already processed a range of red tape issues and continues to seek practical solutions to further concerns. All of the Group’s work arises from issues brought to it by business. Minister Perry thanked the members of the Group for their efforts to develop practical solutions to improve the regulatory environment for businesses in Ireland.

Minister Perry said: "It is important for Government to have a wide ranging engagement with business and I will continue this dialogue on reducing red tape."