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Cutting red tape should be top government priority

New research from global insurer Zurich shows that over two thirds (70%) of British SME decision makers want the government to focus on cutting red tape. This ranks more highly than improving access to finance (54%) and reviewing employment legislation (36%) in the list of top three SME priorities.

This desire for cutting red tape rises to 76% amongst SMEs in the North of England and 74% in the Midlands. In London this figure is 60%, which while below average, still ranks as their top priority. Manufacturing SMEs put the greatest emphasis on the reduction of red tape (86%) with construction (75%) and financial services (67%) companies closely following.

When senior SME decision makers were asked to rank their top three regulatory challenges, employment regulations topped the list (37%), followed by health and safety (28%) and pensions (21%). The concern with employment regulations is also reiterated by the fact almost one in five (17%) small businesses view employment tribunals and legal proceedings as a top business threat.

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