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Cost of regulation to Humber businesses tops £1 billion

The cost of new regulation to businesses in the Humber has topped a billion Pounds for the first time, the latest figures from Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce show.

The 2010 edition of the British Chambers of Commerce ‘Burdens Barometer’, which is being published today, shows that the cumulative cost to businesses in the Humber of new regulation since 1998 has risen to £1.0863 billion, up from £0.969 billion last year.

The Burdens Barometer is independently compiled by experts from the London and Manchester Business Schools, Tim Ambler and Francis Chittenden.  Overall, the cost of regulation to businesses in the UK since 1998 has risen to £88.3 billion, up from £77 billion in 2009.

40 additional regulations have been added to the Barometer since 2009. Despite 21 of these reporting a recurring annual benefit for companies, the net result is still a new, annual recurring cost to UK business of over £1 billion.

Of the 40 new laws, the most costly include:

  • Euro 5 and 6 Light Duty Vehicle Emissions Standards with a recurring cost to business of £1.48 billion.
  • Community Infrastructure Levy with a one-off cost to business of £457 million.

After lobbying from Chambers of Commerce across the country, the new Government said in its coalition programme last week:

“We will cut red tape by introducing a ‘one-in, one-out’ rule whereby no new regulation is brought in without other regulation being cut by a greater amount.”

The Chamber is now asking companies in the Humber to come forward with examples of how burdensome regulation is affecting their businesses, which it will present to the new Government.  Case studies can be submitted via email to r.kendall@hull-humber-chamber.co.uk.

Richard Kendall, Policy Executive at Hull & Humber Chamber of Commerce, said: “The financial and administrative cost of dealing with regulation is too high.  Time spent complying with regulation is time away from a company’s core business.  Unnecessary red tape holds businesses back and restricts economic growth.

“The new Government’s commitment to stem the tide is very welcome, and businesses will hold them to that promise.  We are doing our part to help by asking companies to identify the worst regulations that affect them.  We will present the case studies we receive to our local MPs and the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, to show them the best place to start cutting red tape.”

Francis Chittenden from the Manchester Business School added: “Regulation is like taxation. It raises business costs and so reduces the amount of business activity conducted in the UK.”

Tim Ambler from the London Business School added: “Much of the problem stems from Whitehall wishing to add its own unique UK regulations to the already substantial flow from the EU.”

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