As the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) launches its fifth annual Red Tape Awareness Week™, a new report links red tape to added stress and estimates the cost of some of the most common regulatory headaches for Canadians to be at least $10 billion per year or $730 for the average Canadian household.
This includes fees and time spent to comply with personal income tax obligations ($6.7 billion, excluding actual taxes paid); fees associated with applying for and renewing passports ($645 million); and fees associated with applying for and renewing driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations ($1.7 billion).
Excluding personal income taxes, the value of time spent complying with these and other regulatory obligations is nearly $1.1 billion annually.
“These numbers barely scratch the surface,” said CFIB’s executive vice president Laura Jones. “If you are renovating your home, applying for a student loan, or even if you’re going fishing, there are costs and paperwork involved.”
CFIB has previously pegged the direct cost of regulation on Canadian businesses at $31 billion per year. The new data on cost to individuals begins to provide a fuller picture of the total cost of regulation for all Canadians. And this cost goes beyond just money.
In a national public opinion poll conducted by Vision Critical for the CFIB, 45 per cent of respondents said that excessive regulation adds significant stress to their lives. In previous CFIB surveys, the percentage of small business owners who said that red tape added stress was even higher.
“Keep in mind, small business owners are doubly affected by red tape, because they deal with it as individuals, and as entrepreneurs,” added Jones. “If you think filing your taxes and renewing your driver’s license is a pain, it’s just a small taste of what small businesses deal with on a daily basis.”
To read the full report, Impact of Regulation on Canadian Individuals, please visit www.cfib.ca.