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Lansdowne Market Research Ltd, 49 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. Tel: 661 3483 Fax: 661 3479 Business Attitudes Towards Government Regulations January.

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Presentation on theme: "Lansdowne Market Research Ltd, 49 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. Tel: 661 3483 Fax: 661 3479 Business Attitudes Towards Government Regulations January."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lansdowne Market Research Ltd, 49 St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. Tel: 661 3483 Fax: 661 3479 Business Attitudes Towards Government Regulations January 2003 641-L2 Prepared for: The Department of The Taoiseach By Lansdowne Market Research Ltd. JMM/RW/RJ641-L2

2 Table of Contents  Executive Summary  Methodology  Attitudes to Regulations (Conclusions and Recommendations)  Attitudes to Regulations (Charts)  Appendices

3 Attitudes to Regulations: Executive Summary The findings in this report form part of a larger survey conducted into attitudes to the civil service amongst Irish businesses. The research was conducted by Lansdowne Market Research and commissioned by the Public Service Modernisation Division of the Department of the Taoiseach, on behalf of the Research Sub-Group of the Quality Customer Service Working Group. The aim of this element of the survey was to explore the perceived level of burden, that regulation imposes on Irish business. It was further intended to highlight particular areas of regulation, that are seen as the most difficult to comply with. The research also set out to reveal the overall views and attitudes of businesses regarding government regulation, in particular focussing on the communication of regulations and the degree to which they are seen to be easily understood and implemented. Recommendations are made that should help businesses to better understand the regulations that apply to them, as well as to improve the transparency of the regulatory process.

4 Methodology Business Survey  Telephone interview with Senior Managers/Directors responsible for dealing with Civil Service. Interviewing conducted from Lansdowne CATI centre.  Sample size 300 (100 interviews each amongst businesses with 1-9, 10-49, 50+ employees). Results re-weighted to adjust for actual proportions of company size in Ireland. The following table shows the number of interviews conducted for each company size and the re-weighted proportions that made up the Irish business universe. Weighted Proportion of company size by number of employees Fieldwork  All fieldwork conducted November 2002. Number of employees1 - 910 - 4950+ Sample size100100100 Actual proportion in business universe87%11%2%

5 Regulations: Conclusions and Recommendations 3.0Level of Burden of Regulations 54% of businesses agree that regulations are a significant burden on their business (ref: chart 1), whilst 27% disagree. When asked to specify the regulations that are currently a burden, taxation regulations were the most prevalent (26%), closely followed by Health & Safety (22%). Other regulations mentioned spontaneously were CSO (13%), industry Specific regulations (13%) and Company Law (10%). A perception exists amongst businesses that regulations are becoming more of a burden (62%), whilst a very small number (6%) believe that regulations have become less of a burden over the past 5 years ( ref: chart 2). There is little variation on this measure by company size. Despite the perception that regulations have become more of a burden in recent years, it is encouraging that the Civil Service is widely perceived as a 'business friendly' organisation. Two thirds of Irish businesses believe that it is either quite or very business friendly. Moreover, larger companies are the most likely to endorse this point of view (71%). It seems therefore that for many businesses the Civil Service is not directly implicated in these perceptions of increasing regulatory burden. Perception of the Civil Service is determined more by experience of customer service than of the existence of regulation in various fields - which is possibly seen as the preserve of 'Government' rather than the customer facing departments. An increasing awareness of regulations originating from the EU may also contribute to this finding. (i)

6 A further indicator that businesses somewhat overstate their aversion to regulation, is the fact that no single regulatory area stands out as particularly arduous. Few areas of regulation emerge as being especially difficult to comply with, on average under 30% of businesses believe specific regulations are difficult to comply with (ref: chart 5). Regulations are seen as burdensome in general, but none stands out individually as the source of this burden. Larger businesses tend to find taxation regulation easier, perhaps reflecting more sophisticated in-house procedures for processing payroll etc. Statistically the regulatory area that has the highest impact on the perception that regulations are a burden are 'industry specific regulations' and the return of data to the CSO (ref: chart 4). The former is likely to be caused by the diversity of industry specific regulations, that do not have the same universal applicability as taxation or employment law, and which may therefore be more difficult to keep track of. 3.1Perception of Regulations Despite the mixed view of regulations in terms of compliance, a clear trend emerges in terms of overall perception of regulations. Communicating regulatory obligations and changes is a key issue. A majority agree that 'it is difficult to keep track of all the regulations affecting my business' (72%) and 'new regulations affecting my business are not communicated to me effectively (66%) (ref: chart 3). (ii)

7 There are diverse views as to whether regulations are well enforced, 40% agree and 49% disagree that 'regulations are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date'. The issue of communication is therefore compounded by the perception that regulations are not necessarily relevant or uniformly enforced. A clear majority disagree that there is adequate consultation with businesses in 'regulation design'. Better communication will clearly be required to uphold confidence in regulation, as well as improving perception that businesses are consulted and part of the process. Currently 40% of businesses do not know if Ireland has fewer regulations than other EU countries, whilst there is a widespread belief (73%) that regulations are designed at EU level. This perception may contribute to the communication gap that is currently in place. (iii)

8 Better Regulations Recommendations  The communication gap should be addressed, industry consultation should help reduce the perceived nature of an 'increasing burden'.  Language of regulation should be simplified to make it more transparent to businesses.  Perception of inconsistent enforcement will lead to further confusion and detachment from the process as a whole, this is an area that should be addressed.  Clearer explanation regarding the source of legislation (EU, Ireland) should also alleviate the knowledge gap.  Industry specific regulations in particular should be better communicated, their diverse nature currently contributes most to the 'burdensome' perception. Sector based information campaigns may help managers better understand the regulations that apply to their specific industry. (iv)

9 IMPACT OF REGULATIONS (Base: All Businesses) Strongly Agree (5)26 Total Agree (4) Neither Agree/ Disagree (3) Disagree (2) Strongly Disagree (1) 28 19 26 1 Taxation regulations Health & safety CSO Industry specific Company law Employment law Environmental regulation 26 22 13 10 9 7 Others 2% or less WHICH REGULATIONS ARE A BURDEN? 1. Mean:3.5 (Base: Strongly Agree/Agree Regulations are a Significant Burden) 26 28 18 26 1 3.5 23 29 18 26 1 3.4 23 33 28 10 4 3.7 1 1 2 1-910-4950+ Regulations Are A Significant Burden On My Business

10 ARE REGULATIONS BECOMING MORE OF A BURDEN? (Base: All Businesses) A lot more (5)33 Over the past 5 years, to what extent have government regulations become more or less of a burden? 2. A little more (4) No difference (3) A little less (2) A lot less (1) Mean 29 32 5 1 Very business friendly (4) 2 How business friendly is the Civil Service? Quite business friendly (3) Not very business friendly (2) Not at all business friendly (1) 63 29 5 1 Don't know 2.12.6 6 65 26 2 2.8 Total50+ Employees 1

11 WHAT CAN CIVIL SERVICE DO TO BE MORE BUSINESS FRIENDLY (Base: All Businesses) 3. COMPANY SIZE (EMPLOYEES) (1-9) % (10-49) % (50+) % More interaction with businesses Improve internal/external communications Improve customer service Simplify terminology Be more efficient Make information easier to obtain Less bureaucratic more transparency Improve on-line access Extend opening hours 18 16 10 8 5 4 4 4 18 15 18 10 9 5 4 3 4 15 20 16 7 4 8 6 7 3 13 28 16 4 6 7 9 8 2 *Other answers below 4%

12 IMPACT OF REGULATIONS ON OVERALL REGULATORY BURDEN Industry specific regulations 4. 100 75 67 47 22 Return of statistical data to C.S.O. Health and safety Environmental legislation Employment law (Base: All Businesses) INDEX OF IMPACT ON OVERALL REGULATORY BURDEN *Regression analysis revealing impact of specific regulation on overall perceptions of regulatory burden

13 EASE OF COMPLIANCE WITH REGULATIONS (Base: All Businesses) Very easy12 Taxation PRSI/PAYE Quite easy Neither Easy/Difficult Quite Difficult Very Difficult 43 25 16 3 5. Don't know 2 9 28 16 18 8 20 13 32 18 11 8 8 36 23 20 7 6 11 35 20 22 7 5 11 38 22 17 4 9 8 38 18 21 9 7 Environ- mental Regulation Employ- ment Law Industry Specific Reg's Health & Safety Company Law/ Annual Refunds CSO Data Mean:3.43.2 3.43.2 1-9 10-49 50+ 3.4 3.5 3.7 3.1 3.3 3.2 3.3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.2 2.7 2.9 Total

14 ATTITUDES TO REGULATIONS (Base: All Businesses) Strongly Agree (5) Agree (4) Don't know Regulations affecting my business are reasonable and straightforward to comply with 35412218 (1)3.2 New regulations affecting my business are not communicated to me effectively 124415233 (3)3.4 Businesses need less regulation 203015322 (1)3.3 It is difficult to keep track of all the regulations affecting my business 2646818- (2)3.8 There are fewer regulations on Irish business than in other EU countries 51122175 (40)2.9 There is adequate consultation with business in the design of new regulations 117114019 (12)2.3 Regulations are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up to date 124123611 (16)2.6 Regulations are published in language which is easy to understand 12894218 (2)2.5 Many regulations are now designed at EU level 568772 (11)3.8 Mean Score 6. 1397436 (3)2.9 Most regulations are well enforced Neither Agree nor Disagree (3) Disagree (2) Disagree Strongly (1)

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