Red tape is seriously harming the growth of British SMEs according to a new report.Research carried out by accountancy website, Kashflow, has revealed that 39 per cent of accountants believe that official red tape is the most significant barrier to growth for SMEs.Recent government legislation such as the Age Discrimination Act and the New Employment and Workers’ Rights laws have added to the burden placed on small businesses. As a result the data reveals, 67 per cent of people felt that David Cameron was more likely to reduce the red tape burden than Gordon Brown.Alan Moore, an accountant from Alpha Business and Accounting Services, explained how hard it was for small businesses, saying: "There has not been a year go by in recent times when businesses have not had either new regulations and legislation pending, or are seeing a new chunk of red tape banging at their door."Director general of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) David Frost welcomed the recent re-launch of the Better Regulation Committee’s online red tape complaints portal, saying: "Regulation is of concern to many businesses particularly our members who, as SME’s, find that the increasing regulatory burden distracts them from running their business."The 2006 BCC ‘burden’s barometer’ shows that the cumulative burden of new regulation since 1998 to UK business is £50.27 billion. We urgently need to see delivery on an agenda which is critically important in maintaining the UK’s competitiveness," he concluded.© Adfero Ltd

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