The term ‘cutting the red tape’ is believed to have derived from the works of Charles Dickens; an international campaign in February marked the bicentenary of the writer’s birth.
The expression relates to avoiding bureaucratic barriers to fulfilling an objective and is often applied to government, corporations or other large organisations. It also refers to tape that is in fact now pink in colour (originally the red faded to pink over time, and therefore, probably to save money, it was later manufactured in pink!) which is used to tie up bundles of official papers. Pink tape is still in use today in legal circles. Such tape is strong, cotton-like material which has been dyed.