NAO report on administrative burdens reduction

National Audit Office report (49 pages, PDF) on the UK Government's programme to reduce the administrative burdens of business regulation by 25 per cent.

The report highlights doubts about the measurement of reductions in administrative burden, and states that “it has not been possible to find evidence of the impact on the productivity of the economy”, and “the wider impact of the Programme [on economic growth] is unproven”.

The Government has claimed in 2008 (105 pages, 4.5M PDF) that its “initiative to set a target for reducing administrative burdens by 25 per cent by 2010 could increase GDP by 0.9 per cent”, citing a 2006 study (122 pages, PDF) for the European Commission. The main part of the estimates in that study (which actually gives a 1.1 per cent figure for the UK) is an assumption that the whole amount of labour no longer used for regulatory compliance would be redeployed into an increase in production (the remainder would arise from productivity improvements and other spillover effects). Percentages of GDP were derived from an estimate for the total UK administrative burden of 2.4 per cent of GDP which was sourced from a 2005 extrapolation (19 pages, PDF) of Dutch data.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under Impact assessment, NAO, Regulators.

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