With the average French worker producing in four days what the average British worker does in five, the productivity of UK business is not helped by excessive government bureaucracy. Confounding stereotypes, Italians are 9% more productive than the British and of the 15 initial members of the EU, only Greece and Portugal now have lower hourly wages.

If Britain wants that feel good factor, it needs to be more productive so it can pay its workers more. Little wonder David Cameron is having a problem convincing the country of his declared economic successes.

Now, the Daily Telegraph reports findings from Creative Auto-Enrolment and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) which claim that small firms are wasting 28 hours a week on red tape and that an extra £4.7bn could be added to the economy if business owners were able to put this energy into growing their company. Amongst other points, the report highlighted the switch to auto-enrolment, which takes up to 103 days for employers to implement. Auto-enrolment typically costs between £8,900 and £12,600 to implement for organisations with one to 100 employees.

In the survey of 512 businesses, executives said that around 28 hours of an average 41-hour week were frittered away on red tape, administration and day-to-day running of the business.