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Ireland To Tackle Red Tape

by Jason Gorringe,, London

27 April 2007

Irish Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment, Micheál Martin has announced a new drive to tackle unnecessary costs on business of filling out forms and making returns to comply with government regulations.

Making the announcement, Minister Martin observed that: “By international standards we are certainly not an over-regulated economy, ranking in or around the ‘top ten’ in international surveys which look at our attractiveness as a location for doing business. A recent ESRI survey found that over half of firms in Ireland believe that we have got the balance right."

"But it is all about remaining competitive. A number of our competitors in Europe are engaged in exercises to reduce the ‘red tape’ burden and we simply have to do likewise."

The Business Regulation Forum’s Report, launched by Martin on Wednesday, estimates that government regulations could be costing business up to EUR500 million each year that could be avoided.

The Forum, based on national and international research, believes the priority areas to be tackled are: Taxation returns, Health and Safety requirements, Statistical requirements, Environmental legislation, Employment and Company law.

"The government has tasked me with leading a government-wide effort to drive this agenda," Martin added. "The intention is to bring the regulating Departments and Agencies into direct contact with business representatives and the focus initially will be on those areas which seem to be causing the biggest burden of form-filling, returns, reports, statistics etc."

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