Report: regulation costs businesses up to £80bn a year

BUSINESSES spend up to £80bn a year on regulation according to a recent report by the Institute of Directors (IoD), which has renewed calls for political parties to take the issue of over-regulation seriously.

Today’s report suggests that directors at businesses are spending more than a month handling governmental red-tape and are spending an equivalent to 5.7 per cent of the UK’s gross domestic product a year dealing with regulation.

“When the regulatory burden is so large that it typically occupies one employee in every private enterprise in the UK for nearly half a year, it’s obvious we have a problem,” said Miles Templeman, IoD director general.

The IoD used new research methods and surveyed directors and businesses rather than obtaining information directly from the government. It found that directors were spending 13 hours a month dealing with regulation administration, while the business workforce as a whole was spending 73 hours a month on regulation.

The IoD have said the government needs to implement a cultural shift away from heavily regulating businesses.

Meanwhile, 84 per cent of businesses say that financial regulation needs to be reformed by the next government, according to a poll conducted by law firm DLA Piper.

Sixty per cent of businesses say the government should regulate bonuses and 50 per cent think overseas acquisitions should be limited.