Comments: When does red tape start to strangle?

The trouble with BCC and CBI opinion surveys and the like is they rarely ask businesses to rank all of the challenges facing their business and to specifically identify and quantify the consequences of regulation/red tape burdens. So we are left with little idea of how to qualify the voracity of their claims.

The surveys can often be little more than rudimentary surveys of perceptions and opinions.

Lets take the example of skill shortages - widely reported in the press to be rampant. But several years of evidence (the Employers Skills Surveys) from 75,000 odd employers in the latest incarnation (2003) reveal Skill Shortages to be a moderate problem. Once proper research is done, the hype can be tackled, the specific problems can be identified. In the case of skills shortages - not a major problem for each and every business, but where they were acute for certain types of businesses, research told us that they significantly negatively impact performance.

How far is the "red tape burden" hype, and how far is it reality? what are the measurable impacts on a businesses performance - which may go well beyond the costs of compliance and payment - for example the business may lose orders because too much time is spent on compliance.

I also have another big question relating to tax: is it the cost of compliance, or the cost of paying the taxes that is the burden? if it is compliance - what can be done to reduce compliance costs?

Posted by Glenn at April 13, 2005 03:27 PM