Two cheers for regulatory budgets

For immediate release - August 12th 2008

Tiga gave two cheers for the Government’s proposal to introduce regulatory budgets for government departments, a measure designed to limit the cost of new regulations on businesses. However, Tiga warned that curtailing and reducing the burden of regulation was ultimately a matter of political will, not budgetary process.

Richard Wilson, CEO of Tiga, said:

“The regulatory burden on business has increased considerably in recent years. The Government’s proposal to introduce regulatory budgets for government departments is an innovative approach to controlling the problem of costly regulation. John Hutton, the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, is to be congratulated for advancing this idea.

“As usual, the devil will be in the detail. For regulatory budgets to work the regulatory impact assessments for new regulations must be robust, indirect as well as direct costs should be included, regulatory budgets should be set on gross cost estimates and there could be a case for including the costs generated by independent regulators in departmental regulatory budgets.

“The games development sector would naturally like to see the costs of new employment regulations included in regulatory budgets. The cost of complying with the regulation and enforcement of the video games classification system might also merit inclusion within a department’s regulatory budget. The UK games development sector competes on quality, not price. Yet keeping the regulatory burden on business relatively light could help to attract inward investment into our sector and others.

“Ultimately, halting and cutting the burden of regulation is a matter of political will, not budgetary process. The experience of the Government’s golden rule illustrates that apparently hard budget rules can be bent. If regulatory budgets are to be effective, ministers must take full responsibility for any breaches in costs that occur. Individual departments and their ministers should be held to full account not just by the Better Regulation Executive and Parliament but also by the Prime Minister. Above all, Ministers must be committed to lightening the regulatory burden on business”

End

Notes to editors:

1. Tiga is the national trade association that represents games developers in the UK and in Europe. We have 157 members, the majority of whom are games developers, but we also have outsourcing companies and technology businesses as members who provide services to games developers.

2. Tiga’s vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We work to achieve this goal in two ways. Firstly, Tiga aims to influence the Government, political parties, the media and other relevant stakeholders to introduce and support policies favourable to the video games industry. Secondly, Tiga provides a range of benefits and services which serve to reduce costs, enhance commercial opportunities and strengthen the overall competitiveness of our members.

3. For information on the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform’s plans to introduce departmental regulatory budgets, see http://nds.coi.gov.uk/environment/fullDetail.asp?ReleaseID=376053&NewsAreaID=2&NavigatedFromDepartment=True

4. For further information, please contact: Dr Richard Wilson, Tiga CEO on: 0845 0941095; Mob: 07875 939643; or:Email: richard.wilson@tiga.org.


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