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State red tape choking UK firms

Company directors are spending over £80bn and more than a month of their time every year on handling government red tape, a report from the Institute of Directors (IoD) warned yesterday. The IoD’s estimate is more than six times the guidance provided by the government, which claims the burden of regulation equates to around £13bn a year.

“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 IoD director general Miles Templeman. “Unless the next government changes the way civil servants are evaluated and rewarded, businesses will continue to face a large and ever increasing burden of paper work that hinders them from growing and, ultimately, creating jobs.”

The IoD estimated that directors spend 13 hours a month handling government regulation, while businesses spend on average 73 hours a month.