'Red tape' reductions costing employers $18 billion every year, claim businesses

Queenlanders are calling for a reduction in 'excessive' government processes

'Red tape' reductions costing employers $18 billion every year, claim businesses

Different Queensland employers and owners have recently appealed to the government to ease the burden of red tape as they claim it adversely affects the performance of their businesses.

The group claims that “excessive” government compliance processes and requirements are costing them $18.4b a year or almost $40,000 per business, as the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) published the results of its latest Red Tape Survey.

The survey confirms the burden for businesses “has intensified,” and the CCIQ has called on the government to end the said restraints in the state’s June budget.

According to a media release, the CCIQ has submitted to reduce red tape and implement regulatory reform, especially for those struggling with COVID-19’s aftermath and impacts of natural disasters. 

“9 out of 10 of the state’s businesses said there were too many hurdles to doing business, and they are calling for relief from complexity and processing times for government permits and fees,” CCIQ policy and advocacy manager Cherie Josephson said.

“As the peak industry body for Queensland business, we have put forward a robust budget submission based on real feedback from our members and businesses across the state,” Josephson said.

Data showed that 30% of state businesses said they need to allocate staff for the management of their regulatory compliance requirements.

“We have applied a practical and strategic lens to our recommendations to provide real support for the day-to-day needs of the business community right now and for the next 10 years, and this includes removing hurdles to doing business,” Josephson added.

The survey further revealed that “compliance burdens” have increased, from 72% in 2017, it revealed that 88% of businesses are experiencing moderate to major impacts. It also showed that 45% of companies take more than five hours to complete compliance activities.

The CCIQ noted that employers have consistently ranked government compliance and regulation as one of the most significant constraints on their growth, particularly the cost of insurance.

The state’s budget will reportedly be tabled on June 21, and the CCIQ emphasised that it is “vital to ensuring Queensland business is ahead of the game.”

The following are the recommendations of CCIQ for the state’s budget for FY 2023. It includes deregulation and regulatory reforms:

  • A commitment to reduce complexity and processing times for permits and fees for businesses. For example, Food Safety regulations are consistently cited as a barrier for business growth. This requires more clarity and concrete outcomes to be delivered once the review process is complete.
  • Removing GST and insurance duty on insurance premiums for businesses. Cost of insurance has been consistently cited as a significant constraint for business growth.
  • Further commitment to reducing red tape for SMEs. Despite the announced action plans, businesses have expressed the growing impacts of red tape on their operations. Between 2017 and 2021, regulatory burden has both intensified and become more prevalent to businesses.

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