Red tape strangling business, survey shows

by AB31 Mar 2014
It’s not just brokers who feel red tape is strangling business – the vast majority of business people feel regulatory burdens have increased over the past twelve months.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s 2013 National Red Tape Survey shows red tape is stifling business, and it is apparently getting worse.

According to the survey, around 70% of businesses report regulatory burdens have increased over the past twelve months, with almost a third judging they had become "much higher".

More than 50% of all businesses indicated they had no capacity to pass the cost of regulation on to consumers, and fewer than 5% of businesses reported being able to pass on all the costs to consumers, ACCI said.

Unsurprisingly, almost two thirds of those surveyed indicated regulatory requirements had a negative impact on their business and a similar proportion considered their industry to be overregulated.
Overwhelmingly, businesses considered regulation to be poorly explained by regulators, inconsistently enforced and unnecessarily strict – and almost 40% of businesses reported that regulatory requirements had prevented them from making changes to grow their business.
ACCI's acting chief economist Burchell Wilson said there is clear frustration within the business community about the extent of over-regulation stifling business growth and the costs it is imposing.
"There are also messages of despair in the survey, with businesses indicating that the relentless build-up of new regulatory obligations and constant regulatory changes were pushing them closer to the point where it would be easier to shut down their operations."
The government's regulatory reforms are a positive step towards a disciplined deregulatory agenda to ease the impact of red tape on business, Wilson said.