Pledge to cut red tape yet minimum wage increased

EXCESSIVE regulation was widely attacked at a meeting of business groups yesterday in Westminster, as the coalition launched its “red tape challenge” in a move to boost growth.

Business secretary Vince Cable urged businesses to direct the government towards harmful legislation.

“If a minister cannot then justify the regulations, they’ve got to go,” Cable told the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) conference.

Yet moments after Cable addressed the conference, his coalition government announced a hike to the minimum wage, drawing criticism from the BCC.

The rise of 15p an hour, to £6.08, was the “wrong increase, at the wrong time,” BCC chief David Frost said. Minimum rates for young people were also moved up. “We can’t afford to price young people out of work,” Frost said.

Meanwhile, planning restrictions were described as the “biggest single drag on growth” by communities minister Eric Pickles.