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Red tape costs business over £15m per year

The latest British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) Burdens Barometer has shown that the cost to British business of implementing major regulations has risen by almost a third since 2004.

The Barometer, which tracks the cost of 46 major regulations introduced since 1998, shows that the total cost of regulations now stands at £39bn, or more than £15m annually.

The Burdens Barometer is extracted from the BCC’s database of over 1,000 Government Regulatory Impact Assessments that evaluate the risks, costs and benefits of any new regulatory proposal. These show the government’s own estimates of the compliance costs of new regulations affecting business up to 1 July 2005.

More than half of all RIAs claim that new regulations provide benefits to businesses or other parties, but less than a quarter quantify these benefits.

BCC director general, David Frost, said, “British businesses are fed up with the spiralling costs of regulation. Businesses must be free to compete in the global economy, and the government must ensure that new regulations are well targeted and business friendly. Unnecessary burdens are not a sustainable option.”

The Burdens Barometer is compiled for the British Chamber of Commerce by independent experts from the London and Manchester Business Schools.

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