Monday, October 21, 2013

Top 100 EU regulations cost the UK economy £27.4 billion a year – and costs outweigh benefits in a quarter of cases

October 21, 2013

EU leaders will meet in Brussels this week to discuss ways to improve growth and competitiveness across Europe. Ahead of this meeting, Open Europe has today published a list of the 100 most costly EU regulations to the UK economy. Using data from the UK Government’s impact assessments of these rules, Open Europe estimates that the top 100 EU laws cost the UK economy £27.4 billion a year. This is more than what the UK Treasury expects to raise in revenue from Council Tax this year (£27 billion).

Open Europe’s ‘Top 100’ list identifies at least 24 EU regulations where the UK Government’s own impact assessment finds that the estimated costs outweigh the estimated benefits – meaning that they impose a net cost on the UK economy.

Though the impact assessments also claim that the 100 EU regulations deliver a combined net benefit, in fact, in some cases, these benefits are vastly over-stated. In the case of the EU’s flagship climate change package, for example, Open Europe estimates that 95% of the envisaged benefits have failed to materialise. Encouragingly, over a third of the regulations Open Europe has identified featured in the recent ‘Business Task Force’ report – endorsed by the UK government – outlining ways to cut the burden of red tape.


Read the Paper (PDF)

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