A report published by the British Chambers of Commerce has revealed
that successive Governments have failed fulfill their promises to
reduce the regulatory burden placed amongst businesses.
In the first ever study into the
deregulatory efforts of both Conservative and Labour governments,
researchers have discovered a recurring failure to follow through
announcements and initiatives with action that actually delivers a
lower regulatory burden for business.
John Bridge OBE, Chief Executive of
Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, said: “This report is a damning
indictment of both Labour and Conservative administrations’ attempts
to ease the regulatory burden on business. Announcements and
initiatives have not been followed through with action. Instead it
appears yet more red tape has been foisted upon business, hindering
the competitiveness of the UK in the global economy.
“A survey of leading businesses at
Davos listed red tape as the major threat to business in 2007. The
Government must ensure that it learns from previous failures and
actually delivers on reductions in red tape.”
‘Deregulation or Déjà vu? UK
Deregulation Initiatives 1987/2006’ has been constructed by Tim
Ambler, London Business School and Francis Chittenden, Manchester
The key findings within the report
Both Conservative and Labour
administrations approach deregulation with apparent enthusiasm,
learn little or nothing from previous efforts and have little if
anything to show from each initiative.
There have been 15 deregulation
initiatives since 1985: the 1995, 2001 & 2006 Acts are the major
The 1994 Act identified 605
proposals for reform yet produced only 26 deregulations over the
following four years. On closer study, the authors explain the
real number may actually be less than 10.
The 2001 Act produced 63
deregulatory opportunities yet only 27 deregulations were
introduced over the next four years. At the same time business
was hit by over 600 new regulations.
After reviewing the history, the
authors conclude that the Regulatory Reform Act 2006 is likely
to produce the same results as Whitehall has already started to
undermine the initiative by manipulating targets and
The authors estimate that
halving existing business regulation could release £50bn per
annum of wealth into the UK economy, equal to approximately £700
per person in the UK per year.
Authors Tim Ambler, Senior Fellow at
London Business School, said: “This paper is a tale of bureaucratic
incompetence. Business is being fobbed off with good intentions and
The authors of this report also
produce the annual Burdens Barometer on behalf of the BCC. The 2006
Barometer showed the cost of regulation to British Business to be
over £50 billion.
February 2007 -
Peterborough UK Community Website