The cost of regulation is spiralling. Manufacturing, financial services and even small businesses are struggling to keep pace with the time consuming and financially burdensome cost of new legislation and regulation required by both national government and international bodies such as the European Union. Estimating the full economic costs of regulation – which would include both the administrative costs of managing regulations by Government and the (usually much larger) costs to business of complying with the regulations – is not easy. But undoubtedly the compliance costs are huge and often hidden. In 2005 the British Chambers of Commerce quantified the total costs of regulation on business since 1998 at £39 bn. Sir Digby Jones, the former Director General of the CBI, reported that 95% of business leaders felt that the time they spent dealing with regulation had increased over the past five years and a survey of offshoring work in 2004 by CBI/MORI concluded that regulation in the UK was playing an important part in companies’ decisions to relocate abroad
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