DEFRA has cut the cost of permitsBusinesses are being advised that their budgets may increase as a result of the lower costs that are likely to be prompted by reduced regulatory charges.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has announced that it has reduced the cost of maintaining such permits by 60 per cent for any small or medium-sized enterprises which have cut down on their operations.

It is hoped the amendment will ensure that the business environment is safeguarded.

Announcing the cost reduction, environment minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "By greatly reducing the cost, businesses will save money by paying less to keep their permit and be able to return to previous production levels without the additional costs of re-applying."

The lower cost permits are available for a maximum of two years.

Meanwhile, John Grange, business adviser at Business Link, recently noted that companies could focus more on their core goals – such as getting orders – by outsourcing.