Government regulations impose a collective cost of £80bn on British businesses, well above ministers' £13bn estimate, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has claimed.
The employers' organisation said because of the burden - which equates to 5.7% of UK GDP - business owners are spending more than a month every year filling in forms, reading advice and complying with legislation.
It called for a new approach to measuring the cost of regulation based on the experiences of real people running real companies.
No matter which party wins the general election the IoD said a culture change in government is needed with a "wholesale review" of Civil Service incentives, job evaluation and career progression. "Success in most of the Civil Service is still defined by gettin...
About Dan Martin
Dan Martin has eight years experience as a journalist writing about entrepreneurs and the issues that affect them. After three years working as a researcher for Sky News, he joined BusinessEurope.com as a reporter. This was followed by two years working as news editor for Startups.co.uk during which time Dan also contributed to Growing Business magazine. In 2006, he joined Sift Media as business editor before being promoted to editor of BusinessZone.co.uk. He also has responsibility for UK Business Forums, the UK’s most active online forums for small business entrepreneurs. As well as interviewing many entrepreneurs, Dan has written content for leading business organisations such as the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, British Chambers of Commerce, Forum of Private Business, Investors in People and Business Link for London. Among the publications that have quoted Dan are The Times, Mail On Sunday, Financial Times, Personnel Today and Bristol Evening Post. His articles have also been published by publications including eGov Monitor, Virgin Express in-flight magazine and Personal Success. Dan speaks at events on issues of interest to UK entrepreneurs and in 2008, delivered a presentation to 250 delegates at the National Federation of Enterprise Agencies' annual conference on how business owners use social media. Earlier this year, he chaired two video debates featuring senior representatives from Business Link and the Federation of Small Businesses and Dragons' Den judge James Caan. Dan also organised the Bristol Twestival, part of a global celebration of Twitter on 12 February 2009. Volunteers from 185 cities around the world had only a month to organise an event using the social network. In total, $350,000 was raised for charity: water.