Burden of regulation is beginning to lift, say businesses

The report also states that more than half of businesses expect the burden to stay the same or decrease.

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said: “Reducing the burden of regulation for business is at the heart of the Coalition Government’s ambition to make the UK one of best places to start and grow a business. This report suggests that businesses can now see progress, but there is clearly more to do. We are committed to this process.”

Key findings from the report:

· 41% of businesses say that the balance of regulation is about right

· 55% of businesses feel that the level of regulation is an obstacle to their business, but this is a reduction from a peak of 62% in 2009

· 46% of businesses think the burden of regulation will stay the same over the next 12 months

· One-in-nine businesses have made contact with a body or organisation to make a suggestion on improving the regulatory regime.

The fifth Business Perceptions Survey (2012), a report carried out independently for the National Audit Office and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) indicates that some businesses seem to be finding regulation less of an obstacle.

The survey is the first joint project delivered by the newly formed Better Regulation Delivery Office, which works alongside the Better Regulation Executive in BIS. Both organisations will use the report’s findings to guide regulatory reform activity, looking at the way regulations are designed as well as the way they are delivered.

The report supports the Primary Authority scheme, as a means for businesses to get advice, and also the extension of the scheme to include trade associations, which is part of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill.

Apart from the reforms in the recently published Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, the Red Tape Challenge and Focus on Enforcement campaigns are also beginning to have an impact, as they continue to give businesses the opportunity to say exactly how they feel about regulations and how they are enforced.