The economic growth duty came into force on 29 March 2017 under the Deregulation Act 2015 (the “DA 2015”) and requires many regulators in England and Wales to have regard to the “desirability of promoting economic growth”, alongside the delivery of protections set out in relevant legislation. The regulators to which it applies are set out in the Economic Growth (Regulatory Functions) Order 2017, and include key bodies such as the Environment Agency (“EA”) and the Health & Safety Executive (“HSE”) but perhaps surprisingly, not local authorities.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (“BEIS”) has produced statutory guidance to “assist regulators in fulfilling their new responsibilities… including the proper consideration that must be made before allocating resources, setting enforcement policies, and making sanctioning decisions“.
Under the new growth duty, regulators must have regard to the desirability of promoting economic growth, alongside their roles in protecting the environment or the public. In particular, they should consider the importance of ensuring that any regulatory action they take is necessary and proportionate (section 108, DA 2015). Continue Reading