Mr Frost’s comments coincide with the release of the BCC’s latest ‘Burdens Barometer’, which uses the government’s own figures to highlight the cumulative cost to business of new red tape since 1998.
The 2010 Barometer, which is independently compiled by experts from the London and Manchester Business Schools, shows that the cost to business has risen to £88.3 billion. This is a jump of over £11 billion since last year.
40 additional regulations have been added to the Barometer since last year. Despite 21 of these reporting a recurring annual benefit for companies, the net result is still a new, annual recurring cost to business of over £1 billion.
Of the 40 new laws in this year’s edition, the most costly include:
• Euro 5 and 6 Light Duty Vehicle Emissions Standards, with a recurring cost to business of £1.48 billion
• Community Infrastructure Levy with a one-off cost to business of £457 million
Commenting, David Frost, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“The Burdens Barometer highlights a clear problem for UK business. The cost of dealing and complying with new laws and regulations over the last 12 years has been far too high.
“During this critical time for the economy, we need businesses to be driving recovery and creating jobs. But, the government must play its part by putting the brakes on the relentless flow of red tape.
“Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech is the perfect opportunity for the new government to prove its commitment to job creation and a better business environment by repealing regulations where it’s clear the costs outweigh the benefits to the economy and society.
“There needs to be an urgent and sweeping review of all regulations that incur costs for business, and importantly, a moratorium on new employment laws until at least 2014.”
Francis Chittenden from the Manchester Business School said: “Regulation is like taxation. It raises business costs and so reduces the amount of business activity conducted in the UK.”
Tim Ambler from the London Business School added: “Much of the problem stems from Whitehall wishing to add its own unique UK regulations to the already substantial flow from the EU.”