I used to snort incredulously when I read Brit journopukes parroting Brown's line about his regime's "light touch" regulation, which was right alongside "abolishing Tory boom and bust" in the achievements the psycho cyclops attributed to himself. Reality having dispersed the second, the Institute of Chartered Accountants has now thoroughly exposed the fraudulence of the first.
ASI reports on the third section of the ICA Global Enterprise Survey Report 2010 (pdf), in which businessmen operating in different parts of the world were asked "How business friendly is your country’s regulatory and taxation environment?" The graph shows the comparative results. Dark red is "very", light red is "fairly", light grey is "not very" and dark grey is "not at all".
Excluding Hong Kong-Singapore-Malaysia, the UK ranks fourth on employment legislation (ahead of the rest of the EU and Africa), fifth on planning regulations (ahead of Africa), fifth on corporate governance requirements (ahead of the US), and bottom of the pile on business tax changes, financial reporting requirements, health and safety regulations, environmental law, and corporate social responsibility requirements.
As ASI says, the lesson the government should take from it is that what British businesses most need is for government to just get out of the way, and stop making their lives so difficult.