What action is the Government taking to simplify reporting standards for business?
During the Quality Regulation Review it became apparent that businesses were facing compliance costs associated with providing the same or similar information to different Government departments. The Government has decided to fund a cross-Government investigation into introducing and implementing a system of standard business reporting, and the implementation of a single business number. This means that businesses will have to submit information once only, in a standard form, which will allow the information then to be passed on to the relevant Government agencies. It will further reduce business compliance costs, which have been on a downward trend under this Labour-led Government.
Will the Minister tell the House whether she has been advised of the level of potential savings to New Zealand business from the reduced compliance costs that such a system would deliver?
Yes. The advice I have received is that, based on comparative data from other countries that have adopted standard business reporting, the estimated benefit to New Zealand business could be, on low projections, $55 million per year, and, on high projections, $75 million per year. These savings would be a major contributor to productivity improvement across industry, and, in particular, within the small to medium sized enterprise sector.