New research unveiled today by the Chambers of Commerce has discovered that the staggering cost of red tape and regulation to business in Hertfordshire since 1998 is over £431 million.

This figure illustrates the remarkable growth in the burden of regulation from Westminster and Brussels which is hitting the competitiveness of our local businesses.

The 2007 Burdens Barometer, produced by the British Chambers of Commerce and also released today, has calculated that the cost to UK business of new regulation since 1998 has been a phenomenal £55.66 billion.

Every year businesses are having to deal with more and more regulation. Until the Government delivers a net reduction in regulation in any one year this burden will continue to stifle enterprise and growth. 2006 was meant to be the year of delivery for regulation but in 2007 business is still toiling under a mountain of red tape.

Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry Chief Executive, Tim Hutchings, said, “This government continues to write cheques that they expect businesses to cash it is about time that they realised how detrimental much of their legislation has been. Hertfordshire needs successful businesses to provide jobs and support the high level of cost of living in the area. If they are not careful they will significantly damage the goose that lays the golden eggs”.

Sally Low, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

“Red tape and regulation are costing businesses in Hertfordshire a phenomenal amount of money.

“It is critical for future economic growth in the city that the politicians in Westminster and Brussels realise the impact excessive regulation is having and take action to ease this burden by freeing firms from the cost of red tape and allowing them to get on with the job of running their business.”