THE UK’s law books still saw tens of thousands of amendments last year despite a government pledge to cut back red tape and create a more stable legal atmosphere, according to data out today from Sweet and Maxwell.
The burden of new legislation fell by just eight per cent, with 1,727 new laws passed last year, from 1,872 in 2010.
But when UK highway rules are included in the figures, 3,637 new laws were introduced – or 14 for every working day.
This could put the coalition on course to be the most prolific legislator in a generation, if its first full year is compared to the average number of laws passed during each Prime Minister’s time in power since Margaret Thatcher.
However, Sweet and Maxwell points out that the government has brought forward some laws as both a “deck clearing” exercise and as part of the commitments made under the coalition deal.
Almost one in six of the new laws apply to business and commercial issues, making it the area with the most new rules in 2011.
The year also saw 25,708 amendments to existing rules, down from 30,614 in 2010. This figure, however, represents the lowest level in a decade.