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New Report Highlights Decline in Regulation

May 6, 2016

A new report published by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has found that in the period between 2004 and 2013, there were 34% fewer food standards inspections leading to a 28% drop in prosecutions. Researchers estimate that a typical business can now expect a local authority health and safety inspection once every 20 years while up to 50,000 people die each year as a result of injuries and health problems originating in the workplace.

General environmental health inspections declined by 56% over the study period, with report author Professor Steve Tombs saying; “This is not about rules, regulations and red tape. It is about lives lost and shortened and the health of communities, workers and consumers made poorer. This is avoidable business-generated, state-facilitated social murder, and quite remarkably it proceeds daily, met largely by political silence.” A move towards self-regulation and the use of private contractors to carry out regulatory functions are cited as two reasons for the decline.

Recent research by the New Economics Foundation revealed that 44% of local government spending on environmental and regulatory services now goes to private companies, creating what Professor Tombs calls; “the transformation of a system of social protection which, for all of its limitations, has existed in the UK since the 1830s.” The report describes recent scandals over diesel emissions and horse meat as evidence that robust independent state backed regulation is needed to ensure companies act in the public interest.

You can view a copy of ‘Better Regulation’: better for whom? HERE.