Business regulations ‘still time consuming’

A government initiative to reduce the burden of regulations on small firms has not decreased the time it takes to comply, according to figures from the National Audit Office (NAO).

A survey from the organisation found the Administrative Burdens Reduction Programme, which aims to decrease the amount of work for firms by a quarter before 2010, is having a mixed response.

Government departments created 150 specific measures to help achieve this, which led to a four per cent reduction in the number of firms which think completing paperwork is a burden.

However, only one per cent say the measures have led to regulation being less time-consuming and 40 per cent report it now takes more time.

Tim Burr, head of the NAO, says: ‘Departments need to engage more directly with businesses to focus on changes that will really help and check that the action they are taking is having the intended effect.’

According to the Federation of Small Businesses, new government regulations which were introduced last week could mean hours of extra work for small firms.

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