CBI: David Cameron sets out plans to slash red tape at CBI Annual Conference
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David Cameron sets out plans to slash red tape at CBI Annual Conference

Prime minister says UK is in the 'economic equivalent of war' but hailed signs that Britain was again 'selling to the world'

The government will embark on radical reforms to speed up the way it takes key decisions in order to help boost economic growth, David Cameron said in a speech to the CBI Annual Conference.

The prime minister unveiled a four-pronged strategy to “eliminate bureaucratic rubbish” and dismantle some of the procedures that had slowed down economic growth, he told business leaders.

Read the prime minister's speech (pdf) >> 
CBI responds to Cameron's speech >>

In a wide-ranging keynote speech, Mr Cameron said the UK was in the “economic equivalent of war” but hailed signs that Britain was again “selling to the world”. “Frankly, we need this buccaneering, deal-making, hungry spirit now more than ever,” he said.

The prime minister said he had taken “massive steps towards leaner, faster government” but acknowledged that more needed to be done to speed up decision making. “We urgently needed to get a grip on this,” he said. “Whitehall had become too risk-averse - too willing to say ‘no’ instead of ‘yes’”.

He said he would restrict the use of “time-wasting” judicial review applications. The government will reduce the time limit for people to bring cases and charge more for reviews. “Instead of giving hopeless cases up to four bites of the cherry to appeal a decision, we will halve that to two,” he said.

Mr Cameron said he would also abolish the need for a mandatory three-month consultation on all government proposals and give ministers the power to decide whether to hold a consultation and to set a time limit.

He also pledged to stop a “new torrent of rules and regulations” from Brussels that threatened to “clog up” Whitehall. Finally he pledged to ensure that new roads and railways were built more quickly.

“We need to forget about crossing every ‘t’ and dotting every ‘i’ - and we need to throw everything we’ve got at winning in this global race,” he said. “There are huge opportunities around the world. I think big businesses are taking those but we need to spread that right down the chain to our SMEs.”

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