Over half of all businesses believe there is too much regulation, according to a survey of businesses commissioned by the National Audit Office and the Local Better Regulation Office. Although most businesses believe that the purpose of regulation is clear, over 60 per cent of businesses think that the level of regulation is an obstacle to their success.
This is the NAO’s fourth annual survey of businesses’ perceptions of regulation. The survey found that 29 per cent of businesses believe that complying with regulation has become more burdensome over the previous 12 months. At the same time, only 1 per cent of businesses feel that regulation has become less difficult or less time consuming than previously.
A number of positive findings have emerged from the survey:
- three in five businesses feel well-informed about the laws and regulations that affect them, with businesses feeling most informed about Health and Safety law;
- 58 per cent of businesses find it easy to comply with regulation specific to their business sector.
Despite this, a number of issues still remain:
- fewer than 30 per cent of businesses believe that the government understands business well enough to regulate, or consults well before any change to regulation;
- having to keep up to date with the introduction of new regulations is seen as the most burdensome and time consuming activity, particularly regarding employment law.