Measures to boost business (?)

Here is the announcement from David Cameron:

“I am determined that we do everything possible to take the brakes off business: cutting taxes; slashing red tape; putting billions into big infrastructure projects; making it much easier for British firms to get out there and trade with the world.

 And there is something else we are doing: waging war against the excessive health and safety culture that has become an albatross around the neck of British businesses.

 Talk of ‘health and safety’ can too often sound farcical or marginal. But for British businesses – especially the smaller ones that are so vital to the future of our economy – this is a massively important issue. Every day they battle against a tide of risk assessment forms and face the fear of being sued for massive sums. The financial cost of this culture runs into the billions each year.

 So this coalition has a clear New Year’s resolution: to kill off the health and safety culture for good. I want 2012 to go down in history not just as Olympics year or Diamond Jubilee year, but the year we get a lot of this pointless time-wasting out of the British economy and British life once and for all.”

I don’t really see these as ‘business boosting measures’ but I’m sure they will be welcomed by some businesses.

I don’t like the thought of killing off health and safety “for good”.  The Health and Safety Executive is independent and and acts in the public interest “to reduce work-related death and serious injury across Great Britain’s workplaces”. We should note that “180 people were killed at work last year” (08/09).

It looks like Cameron is swayed too much by the “myths” that HSE tried to address up until 2010.

I’m not sure how this will make it “easier for British firms to get out there and trade” but the Prime Minister also announced that next month organisations will be asked to bid to manage the £1bn of Government funding available through the Business Finance Partnership.  This fund will help businesses access the finance they need to grow.


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