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Entrepreneurial spirit ?threatened by regulations?

Date 26 Oct 2006

Britatin’s risk-aversion culture is stifling business growth and entrepreneurial drive, according to a new report. The Better Regulation Commission (BRC) claims that Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit is being threatened by government attempts to eliminate risk, and recommends that personal responsibility be encouraged.

Rick Haythornthwaite, chairman of the BRC, said: “Britain is rightly famous for the achievements of our entrepreneurs, risk takers, adventurers and explorers. We have always pushed boundaries and taken risks in search of greater rewards. Now, our national resilience, self reliance and spirit of adventure could be threatened by a culture that demands the progressive elimination of risk through more and more regulation.”

The BRC’s report comes as a survey by the Forum of Private Businesses (FPB) reveals that health and safety regulations are the costliest form of red tape for small firms.

Welcoming the BRC’s recommendations, Nick Goulding, Chief Executive of the FPB, said: “The burden of regulation is stifling entrepreneurial spirit. Of course we welcome guidelines that promote the safety and well-being of employees, but we must encourage the growth of small businesses rather than hamper their development through unnecessary regulation.

The BRC is calling for the government to initiate a public debate designed to change the national approach to risk. Mr Haythornthwaite said: “Our report finds that a growing majority of people from all walks of life feel we have reached a regulatory tipping point. People are no longer convinced that having more and more rules is the best way to solve problems.”

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