Discussion paper

Reducing red tape in Australia - 'one in, two out' rule

04 May 2017



• Red tape costs the Australian economy $176 billion, 11 per cent of GDP, each year in foregone economic output. Similarly, in the US red tape is estimated to cost $2 trillion annually, or 12 per cent of GDP.

• On 30 January 2017, the Trump Administration released the Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. The Order announced a “one-in-two-out” approach to regulation, which it described as “for every one new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations be identified for elimination”.

• This report outlines the effect of implementing a similar one-in-two-out rule on Australian regulation.

• This report finds that if the Federal Coalition Government had implemented a one-in-two-out rule from September 2013 there would be 107,885 fewer pages of regulation and 6,990 fewer rules today.

• As with a failure to reform our tax policy to reflect changes in other countries, failure to reinvigorate the red-tape reduction program will result in Australia being less competitive.