Cost of doing business in UK rises - report

LONDON (Reuters) - The cost of doing business in Britain rose to 88.3 billion pounds this year, up 11 billion pounds on the year, after the government imposed 40 new regulations on firms, according to the British Chambers of Commerce.

According to the BCC’s annual Burdens Barometer, published on Monday, the most costly regulations include the European Light Duty Vehicle Emissions Standards, which has a recurring cost to business of 1.48 billion pounds and the Community Infrastructure Levy with a one-off cost to business of 457 million pounds.

The Barometer, which is compiled by the London and Manchester Business Schools, showed 40 additional regulations have been added since 2009.

Even though 21 of those resulted in a recurring annual benefit for companies, the net result was still a new annual recurring cost to business of over 1 billion pounds.

European Union regulations accounted for more than two-thirds of the total burden, and UK rules just under a third.

BCC Director General David Frost urged the new Conservative/Liberal Democrat government to repeal laws that are costly to business when it sets out its legislative programme in the Queen’s speech on Tuesday.

“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,” Frost said.

“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,” he added.

Reporting by Fiona Shaikh