Dáil Éireann - Volume 657 - 19 June, 2008
Written Answers. - Economic Competitiveness.
Deputy Tom Hayes Deputy Tom Hayes
Deputy Tom Hayes asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the percentage by which she has reduced the administrative cost to business of regulation since the 25% target was set; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24041/08]
Deputy Mary Coughlan Deputy Mary Coughlan
Deputy Mary Coughlan: In March 2008, the Government decided to reduce the administrative burden of domestic regulation on business by 25% by 2012. Initially, all Government Departments will be required to list the Information Obligations which their regulations impose on business. From that listing, Departments will assess which requirements are the most burdensome and will then measure the actual cost to business of the most burdensome requirements. At that point the most appropriate approach to achieving the overall 25% target will be re-examined. My Department is responsible for devising the approach and methodology to be used across Government, for coordinating the work across Government Departments and Agencies and for reporting to Government on progress.
I would also like to draw attention to the work of the High-level Group on Business Regulation appointed in July 2007. The Group has been examining concrete areas in which the administrative burden of regulations on business can be reduced. The Group will present its initial report to me shortly. Some examples of the areas examined by the Group are:
Audit Exemption: At the end of 2006, legislation was introduced to raise the audit exemption thresholds applying to small companies. Based on the likely number of companies availing of the exemption in 2007, annual savings are estimated at up to €16.5 million.
Redundancy payments: The processes by which companies reclaim payments made to redundant workers have been streamlined and claims can now be made on-line. Savings to firms as a result are estimated to be of the order of €1.2 million per annum.
 Tax Clearance Certificates: Instead of having to submit the original certificate in hard copy, the certificate can now be checked on-line by the Government agency awarding the contract. Savings of the order of €300,000 annually are expected to accrue to businesses concerned.
Waste collection permits: The Minister for the Environment has introduced new regulations whereby waste collection firms can apply to one local authority for a permit and which will apply in other local authority areas. The total cost of the current system is approximately €8 million per annum. The High-level Group intends to measure the savings when the new system has been in effect for a period.
Companies Annual Return: Recently introduced electronic filing of the annual return to the Companies Registration Office has yielded savings to companies of €10 million annually based on take-up to date.
The work of the High-level Group will contribute to the achievement of the Government’s target.
Dáil Éireann 657 Written Answers. Economic Competitiveness.