Government needs to cut red tape, Surrey Board of Trade survey indicates. ( Photo: Tom Zytaruk)

Government red tape choking Surrey businesses, survey indicates

About 1,500, or 25 per cent of 6,000 of Surrey Board of Trade’s business contacts, respond to survey

It might come as no surprise, but government red tape is even more tangly than it was this time last year.

Or so indicates the Surrey Board of Trade, which released its second annual Red Tape Survey on Tuesday.

Roughly 1,500, or 25 per cent of the 6,000 board’s business contacts, responded to this year’s survey and 87 per cent of those who participated reported regulatory requirements at all levels of government “had a moderate to major impact on their daily operations, an increase of seven points over 2017.”

“Overall, roughly half to two-thirds of those responding rated a number of agencies and regulatory requirements as having moderate to high levels of red tape,” the executive summary states. “The CRA and PST were most problematic.”

READ ALSO: Surrey businesses surveyed about government red tape

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: Bureaucracy a bellyache from cradle to grave

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: Feds are living in a fiscal fairyland

Response to this year’s survey increased by 52 per cent over last year. Of those, 56 per cent say they’ve been spending increasingly more time filling out government forms over the past two years and 78 per cent found paying taxes “to be a moderate to high cost of doing business.” That’s up from 56 per cent last year.

“Given that an increasing number of our respondents are finding regulatory compliance is impeding innovation and growth, it is not unreasonable to consider that it may likewise create disincentives for the broader business community,” said Anita Huberman, CEO of the board. “Red tape reduction is a low-cost way to stimulate the economy and boost productivity.”

homelessphoto

Anita Huberman, CEO of the Surrey Board of Trade. (Submitted photo)

The survey found that all levels of government “rated low” for communication but there was some improvement at the federal and mostly at the city level. “Provincially, there is a strong trend towards inadequate,” the report indicates. “While there is no clear connection, the introduction of new taxes for development speculation and the employer health tax may have had an impact. Regardless, there is much room for improvement for all governments.”

Consequently, the board of trade is recommending that governments reduce the number of times businesses have to report the same information, use clearer language, improve online and call centre services, and streamline their info-gathering technology to trim duplication.

Simple aggravation aside, 39 per cent of respondents reported spending up to five hours each week jumping through government hoops, and some respondents said it took up more than 20 hours per week of their time.

Which government agencies have the most red tape? Ninety per cent said the Canada Revenue Agency has moderate to high levels of tape, 36 per cent said the Canadian Border Services Agency has high levels of red tape. Forty-six per cent, however, “found getting resolution for complaints at City Hall to moderate to be moderate to high.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. premier announces opening of state-of-art MRI unit in Surrey

Second unit means Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre is now able to deliver cardiac MRI services

Surrey councillor calls proposed policing transition plan ‘shocking’

Councillor Linda Annis says taxpayers deserve to see the report they paid for

Surrey Veterans Village groundbreaking ‘monumental’

$312-million project to house Canada’s first ‘centre of excellence’ for PTSD and mental health

Cloverdale Library to close for renovations in July

Pop-up branch will be set up at Cloverdale Recreation Centre

Surrey policing plan sent to provincial government for review

‘I urge our residents to come out and help us shape their Surrey Police Department,’ Surrey mayor says

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Mother bear, three cubs relocated from Maple Ridge

Silver Valley residents calling for ‘no-kill’ zone.

VIDEO: TransLink to roll out battery-powered bus pilot this summer

Four buses will run a 2.5 year pilot along Marine Drive

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Man in B.C. charged with murder and arson in 2016 New Brunswick death

He is charged in the death of 71-year-old Lucille Maltais, who was found inside a burned down home

North Delta happenings: week of May 23

Events and community listings for North Delta

Public warned after man exposes himself to girl, 13, in North Vancouver

RCMP say incident may be linked to others that happened last year

Improve your life and theirs, adopt a cat from the BC SPCA

The BC SPCA holds an adult cat adoption promotion

Most Read