TaxPersonal TaxSMEs – Red tape leaps 20% in two years

SMEs - Red tape leaps 20% in two years

The regulatory burden on small business has rocketed by almost 20% in two years, according to Chantrey Vellacott figures cited in parliament last week.

Using data supplied by the firm and the English ICA, Tory MP John Bercow said government pledges to cut the red tape strangling smaller firms had proved hollow.

Introducing a Ten Minute Rule Bill to try to slash back bureaucracy, the Buckingham backbencher said Maurice Fitzpatrick, head of economics at Chantrey Vellacott, had backed employers’ organisations in alleging that ‘the burden of regulations on small business is high, continues to rise and needs to be checked or reversed’.

Bercow said English ICA figures showed the extra cost for the average small business with fewer than 100 employees as a result of government legislation introduced since 1 May 1997 is £5,000 a year – a 17% rise.

This was before taking into account the Employment Relations Bill that will give new rights to workers including union recognition, he added.

Bercow highlighted measures including tax credits for working families, child care and the disabled, as well as the move to self-assessment.

Bercow’s Bill is unlikely to become law but is aimed at prompting the government into action. It calls for an annual statement to parliament on the cost of new regulations, a six-monthly review of deregulation initiatives and a review of existing laws to root out the ‘gold-plating’ of European Union directives.

It also calls for a power to exempt small businesses from damaging regulations, a US-style ‘sunset’ system, where regulations lapse every three or five years unless specifically renewed by parliament, and a minimum of three months’ consultation and three months’ notice before new regulations take effect.

Related Articles

LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

Administration LITRG urges government to consider tax changes in disability work plan

3d Lucy Skoulding, Reporter
HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

Administration HMRC appeal rejected in Tottenham Hotspur case

2w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
HMRC urged to clarify impact of income allowances on Self-Assessments

Personal Tax HMRC urged to clarify impact of income allowances on Self-Assessments

2m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

Administration New trading allowance: simplicity, but not as we know it

2m Emma Rawson, ATT Technical Officer
Wealthy individuals could circumvent top tax rate rises

Personal Tax Wealthy individuals could circumvent top tax rate rises

4m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Italy grants first successful non-dom status application to former UK non-dom

Personal Tax Italy grants first successful non-dom status application to former UK non-dom

4m Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Industry reaction: Taylor Review does not go far enough in addressing tax issues

Legal Industry reaction: Taylor Review does not go far enough in addressing tax issues

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Does the Taylor Review sufficiently address the gig economy?

Corporate Tax Does the Taylor Review sufficiently address the gig economy?

5m Alia Shoaib, Reporter