A new report by Professor Robert Baldwin, LSE, for the Federation of Small Businesses shows that a 20 year drive by policy makers to craft proportional, consistent and targeted regulation has failed to deliver the better regulation that small businesses require.
Despite hundreds of government initiatives to tackle red tape since 1985, including over 30 reports, seven white papers and two acts of parliament, Better Regulation: is it better for business?, published today (Tuesday 7 September), finds that:
Small employers spend five times as many hours per employee dealing with regulation than large companies
regulatory costs are five times higher per employee for small businesses
small firms spend almost five per cent of their annual turnover on compliance - costing most businesses tens of thousands of pounds
And business owners still think that the situation is deteriorating.
To read a full press release on Better Regulation: is it better for business?, click here
A copy of the full report can be accessed here
David Bishop, FSB Press Office: Tel: 020 7592 8113. Mob: 07740 076848
Daniel Mazliah, FSB Press Office: Tel: 020 7592 8128. Mob: 07717 861605
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)
The FSB is the largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. Formed in 1974, it now has over 185,000 members across 33 regions and 230 branches. On the member benefits side, it offers assistance and support 24 hours a day, while its lobbying arm - led by the Westminster Press and Parliamentary office - applies pressure on MPs, Government and Whitehall, lobbies politicians in their constituencies and puts the FSB viewpoint over to the media. For more information, see www.fsb.org.uk
Daily Telegraph (13 September 2004)
City Brief: Rules failure
A report for the Federation of Small Businesses by Professor Robert Baldwin of LSE concludes that attempts by governments over the past 20 years to "craft proportional, consistent and targeted regulation has failed".
Times (7 September 2004)
Labour plan to cut red tape 'made it worse'
The Scotsman (7 September 2004)
Small firm numbers fall
Updated 10 September 2004