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National Audit Office report: Business Perceptions Survey 2014

Business Perceptions Survey 2014

The NAO, the Better Regulation Executive (BRE) and the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), both part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) have published a survey looking at businesses’ perceptions of regulation.

"The NAO has jointly published the results of this year’s instalment of the Business Perceptions Survey for 2014 with the Better Regulation Executive (BRE) and the Better Regulation Delivery Office (BRDO), both part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).This survey indicates that businesses’ perceptions of regulation have improved since the last survey in 2012 as fewer businesses view regulation as an obstacle to success. However there are still areas where regulation is perceived to be an unnecessary burden, in particular in the Finance and Agriculture sectors. As in 2012, more work still needs to be done to ensure that small businesses feel the same reduction in burden as larger businesses have."

Alex Scharaschkin, Director of Regulatory Studies at the National Audit Office, 28 May 2014

 

Perceptions of business regulation are improving compared to 2012 when a similar survey was conducted on behalf of the National Audit Office, the Better Regulation Executive and the Better Regulation Delivery Office.

Although perceptions are improving, the survey also found that there is still room for continued improvement on a number of aspects given many businesses still find regulation a burden. The removal of unnecessary burden on business is important for UK businesses to achieve sustainable growth.

Just over a half of businesses in the UK (51%) agree that the level of regulation in the UK is an obstacle to business success. 11% see complying with regulation as their key challenge at the moment. Perceptions are worse among businesses in the Finance and Agriculture sectors and micro and small companies (1-49 employees). However, there is a continuing trend of improvement on this aspect. More businesses thought regulation was an obstacle in 2012 (55%) and around 60%, between 2007 and 2010, thought regulation was an obstacle to business success.

There are fewer businesses in 2014 compared with previous years perceiving a variety of regulatory activities as a burden. Activities linked to finding information, keeping up to date and supplying information are less likely be seen as burdensome than in 2012 and in previous waves (2007-2010).

Conversely, an increasing proportion (43% in 2014, and 38% in 2012) expects the regulatory burden to increase in the next 12 months; but this is still significantly lower than those thinking the same between 2007 and 2010. It is possible that this increase is, at least in part, due to an increased expectation of growth. This is borne out by the results which shows those aiming to grow are more likely to expect the regulatory burden to increase when compared to those who do not expect growth.

 

Publication details:

Published date: May 28, 2014