From the TUC

More evidence that regulation isn’t businesses’ biggest worry

28 Oct 2011, by in Economics

I see that Felicity Burch has a post on the Engineering Employers’ Federation blog, calling on the government to reduce regulation to boost business. Normally I have quite a lot of respect for the EEF, so I suppose I should just commiserate with her on the bad luck in writing this on the day when there’s new evidence about how low this is on most employers’ agendas.

Today’s Access to Finance statistics include a very useful table on “limiting factors for business growth”, which lists a number of factors and shows the percentage of firms who expect each factor to limit business growth between January 2011 and December 2013.

The results confirm that it is the economic climate, the collapse of demand and the intensified business pressures that have resulted that are uppermost in businesses’ concerns. The “regulatory framework” is well down the list, scoring just one point more than “new entrants in the market”, which is, you know … capitalism.

Here’s the full list:

‘Gazelles’, of course, are businesses that live in the African savannah and eat grass and other easily digestible plants and leaves. (*)

On Monday I noted new government data that shows that SMEs aren’t crying out for de-regulation – the economic crisis is their biggest problem. It looks, on the basis of today’s figures, as if it isn’t just small businesses and it doesn’t matter how fast they’re growing: they all think demand is a much bigger problem than the burden of regulation.

(*) Or they may be businesses born in 2003 or 2004 that experienced 72.8% or more employment growth between 2005 and 2008 (i.e. a compound growth rate of 20% per annum over three years).