The coalition is not doing enough on red tape

The coalition is not doing enough on red tape This week the government proudly unveiled new measures to reduce regulatory responsibilities for small businesses.

Under the new rules small firms will see their financial reporting obligations significantly reduced – clearly good news for the UK’s entrepreneurs.

But for all their celebrating, these new rules do not actually come from the coalition. In fact, they were forced to introduce them in order to comply with an EU directive.

The government has pledged to reduce the burden of unnecessary red tape for small businesses, but new research from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales shows that nine out of ten business owners do not believe that the regulatory situation has improved in the last year. The government is clearly not doing enough to help entrepreneurs.

Research of this sort gives the lie to the coalition’s claims to be backing small businesses. SMEs are the backbone of the UK economy, and they need and deserve the government’s support. Rather than crowing about new rules that they didn’t propose in the first place, the government should be announcing its own, practical steps to help small businesses grow: steps on bank lending, on tax treatment, and on further easing the regulatory burden.