The impact of most new legislation is not being analysed before it is enacted, according to a new report by public affairs consultancy group EPS Consulting.

A survey conducted by the body found that the impact of new laws passed in Ireland in the last three years was only assessed in 42% of cases.

The research was funded by Japan Tobacco International Ireland.

The EPS Consulting report says that the cost of implementing regulations in Ireland may be as high as €4.5bn a year and that the Government’s aim of cutting the cost of regulatory red tape by €500m has not yet been met.

The body has called for Regulatory Impact Analysis to be used in all proposed legislation, adding that such assessment should be done early in the process to ensure it has the desired effect.

EPS Consulting said that Ireland had agreed at European and OECD level to produce “credible evidence-based legislation and be more transparent in assessing options” but that, at present, the country was not following through on this promise.