Without doubt, huge amounts of bureaucracy are one of the quickest ways to starve the life out of small businesses and, therefore, stick a massive obstacle in the way of the economy’s upward trajectory.The levels and complexity of red tape firms have to deal with makes business difficult and is a distraction to building our companies and creating jobs. I’m convinced the government will take the shears to the thorny hedgerows of red tape that engulfs UK business now that it is a single-party administration, especially in its negotiations with the EU. During the coalition’s five year term, 3,600 pieces of EU legislation were passed into law that affect British business. If you need confirmation that common sense isn’t that common in Brussels, then here’s the proof. As well as things like the EU data protection rules that cost UK companies an estimated £320m a year, and forcing manufacturers to conform to packaging and labelling regs even if they don’t export to the EU, they’ve done even more crazy things with our food. Apparently, the Brussels bureaucrats changed the botanical name of the tomato inside the EU and restricted the use of rosemary extracts in stuffed pasta products. Of course, that doesn’t affect every business, but there’s plenty that does. Things like making my depot manager fill out half a dozen forms just to move a bit of rubbish about London or rules that restrict working hours, for example, make my blood boil.
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