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U.K. Plans to Cut Red Tape, Limit Health and Safety Inspections

U.K. Business Secretary Vince Cable plans to cut regulations on companies and vowed to scrap thousands of health and safety inspections.

More than 3,000 rules will be scrapped or changed to make life easier for small companies, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said. Small shops, offices and bars will be exempt from inspections and will only be liable for breaches of health and safety rules if negligence is proven.

“In these tough times, businesses need to focus all their energies on creating jobs and growth not being tied up in unnecessary red tape,” Cable said in a statement released by his office in London today.

The U.K. government is looking at ways of stimulating growth without adding to the budget deficit as the economy struggles to emerge from a double-dip recession. While measures to improve supply in the economy are needed, Cable told BBC television yesterday that demand is too weak.

The government said previously it would examine 6,500 rules and regulations that affect companies. It plans to identify at least 3,000 by December 2013, it said at that time.

Prime Minister David Cameron last week said he will loosen planning rules to stimulate the construction industry.

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