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Comment - retail legislation cuts announced but what are they really worth?

Obviously we welcome the government clearing out the legislation cupboards... By Gavin Matthews, Head of Retail, Bond Pearce.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Comment - retail legislation cuts announced but what are they really worth?

Getting rid of more than half of the 270 regulations that currently affect retailers has to be a good thing in terms of making life easier for businesses and consumers. 

However it's clear that most of the regulations they are talking about getting rid of are those which are either outdated or slightly comical. The Trading With the Enemy rules, those concerning alcohol licences to sell liquor chocolates, and the 'safe' age to buy Christmas crackers, for example. Ridding the retail sector of these rules is a good place to start but this isn't the legislation that has a major affect on the growth and output of retailers. I'm sure smaller shopkeepers will see this announcement as good news but for the larger retailers of far greater business concern is the raft of yet further employment regulation proposed a few months ago on shared parental leave and flexible working.

In the backdrop of the news this week that the UK economy has only grown by 0.2% businesses may feel that the government should be focusing on relieving big regulatory burdens and stimulating growth as opposed to somewhat 'popular' changes that make good material for newspaper articles but don't actually change much.

It is also important to remember that these changes are still only at the proposal stage at the moment, yet more time will be spent actually implementing them, before the government could perhaps start concentrating on what retailers really need.

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