28 January 2014
Prime Minister, David Cameron announced yesterday, 28 January 2014, that 80,000 pages of environmental protections and building guidelines have been torn up in order to cut costs and to invest in construction.
This is ironic due to Cameron’s boasts about being the greenest government that the UK has seen
. He has tried to compensate his actions by saying that he will introduce new rules that will make it cheaper for business’ to comply with environmental obligations. This is part of the Government’s plan to cut down on what it deems to be useless regulations and replace them with less stringent and some would say less effective measures.
It is also ironic, due to the fact that recently, David Cameron came out and defended the Environment Agency and their response to flooding! Now he is binning the very laws that will go towards environmental protection.
Hazards Campaign spokesperson said yesterday, 28 January 2014:
“Cameron is blindly following the demented business daleks demanding ‘deregulate, deregulate, deregulate’ . Supporting their friends in the FSB who believe that the USA is a better business model is hardly reassuring when USA workplace death rate is six times higher than the UK!’
“No-one supports pointless bureaucracy or rules for their own sake. But much of the ‘red tape’ Cameron is slashing and trashing is not imposed by mindless bureaucrats but carefully thought out, devised, evaluated and agreed by the HSE with industry and unions, to protect not only workers but the public and the environment. Sending out signal that employers will not be liable for the abuse of workers by customers, will not make them protect”.
David Cameron claims that he has gone through many regulations that have ranged from serious to utterly ridiculous and he wants to scrap over 3,000. Coincidently, the Prime Minister claims that this will save over £850m a year.
The housing sector is one example. The Prime minister is set on scrapping rules relating to the environment in order to concentrate of the housing sector .Recognising at long last that there is a massive shortage of affordable homes in the UK, he claims that by scrapping rules and making savings, new house building programmes will follow, hoping no doubt that this will gain him popularity in the general elections.
Whilst the housing deficiency in the UK is very serious and needs addressing, slashing regulations and rules in the construction industry – traditionally one of the most dangerous sectors in our economy – is not the way forward. Infact IER believes the Government is addressing the issue in a very irresponsible and dangerous manner.
The inappropriateness of the government’s “bonfire of regulations” policy is highlighted by another of the regulations due to be slashed – most notably the 3rd Party Harassment Clause in the Equality Act,2010.
Under this Clause, a worker who has been harassed at work can challenge their boss for failing to protect them against harassment from customers, clients or other “third parties”. The IER believes this is far from being a ‘useless’ law that can be scrapped as it is scrapping worker’s human rights.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “It’s sensible to look at whether regulations are still needed or can be simplified from time to time.
“But this government is going way beyond that to attack worker and consumer rights.
“Stripping self-employed workers of health and safety protection – when construction is riddled with bogus self-employment scams – will make injuries more likely.
“And removing any obligation on employers to protect their staff from sexual and racial harassment by customers sends a very clear signal whose side the government is on.”
By continuing with this Red Tape Challenge, the government is continuously peddling their conservative views and scrapping the UK of its worker’s rights, trade unionism and many other aspects that insure worker’s a safe and fair workplace.