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Although the coalition government have taken measures to reduce red tape for businesses, a greater number of Small and Medium Enterprises consider the UK to be “less business friendly” than it was in 2010. A report from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales reveals the percentage of all companies surveyed who believe the UK is business friendly, has dropped from 50 percent in 2010 to 44 percent.

SMEs had the largest negative response, with tax and regulations considered “beneficial” by only 38 percent, a massive drop from the previous year’s figure of 55 percent. The chief executive of ICAEW, Michael Izza believes that the policy of removing one regulation when a new rule is introduced, hasn’t worked. According to the chief executive, the government have to make changes, with the chancellor under pressure to deliver positive news in the autumn.

SMEs are more negative about regulatory changes than large companies, although this could be down to the introduction of new regulation which can be seen as burdensome. The default retirement age, flexible working rights and the Agency Workers Directive all have a huge effect on small business. The report was compiled using the results of the survey, which questioned 1000 companies. Of these, the businesses which were experiencing strong growth tended to be the ones who were exporters, and also small businesses. Medium sized companies were less positive in their view of exportation. Manufacturers in the UK were less confident of achieving growth this year; although more service based businesses thought turnover would increase.

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