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Red Tape Costing Small Business Billions

So-called ‘red tape’ is now costing British business as much as £88.3 billion per year, according to new figures from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

The BCC, a leading business pressure group, is calling on the coalition government to stem the “relentless flow” of new regulation, in an effort to reduce the burden on businesses.

According to the same study, the cost of bearing the regulatory burden grew by £11 billion last year. Much of this increase was attributed to the adoption of as many as 40 new regulations from Brussels

The BCC has called on the government to use Tuesday’s Queen’s Speech to make a commitment to reducing the range of regulations with which UK businesses have to comply. During the election campaign both the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives expressed a desire to do so, but neither set out exactly what changes they would make

Mark Prisk, the new small business minister, said: “Red tape has become a huge problem and I am determined to overcome it.”

The government would find it difficult to renege on commitments to adhere to existing EU regulations, but it is expected to pledge not to “gold plate” rules in the future.

The Queen’s Speech will see the government set out its full legislative agenda, and is expected to give details of significant cuts to public spending.