Now the countyâ€™s business leaders have called on the government to take steps to ease the burden and let them concentrate on doing their job.
The 2007 Burdens Barometer, produced by the British Chambers of Commerce, has calculated that the cost to UK business of new regulation since 1998 has been a phenomenal Â£55.66 billion.
Cheryl Smart (pictured), director of corporate services at the Chamber – which represents Bedfordshire and Luton business – said the cost to local business was “phenomenal”.
She added: “It is critical for future economic growth that the politicians in Westminster and Brussels realise the impact excessive regulation is having and take action to ease this burden by freeing firms from the cost of red tape and allowing them to get on with the job of running their business.”
The regulatory burden had steadily increased, she added, increasing the Chamberâ€™s concern at its effect on the Bedfordshire and Luton economy.
Mrs Smart said: “Each year businesses are forced to deal with more and more regulation. Until government delivers a net reduction in regulation in any one year, this burden will continue to stifle enterprise and growth.
“2006 was meant to be the year of delivery for regulation but in 2007 business is still toiling under a mountain of red tape.”