Regulation protects the weak and vulnerable. Regulation protects the environment. But all regulation has to strike a balance between respecting the freedom of the individual and the needs of the community. So why is there more and more regulation in the UK and many other countries?
This increase has inevitably led to complaints about the burden and intrusiveness of regulation. Ministers have responded by launching frequent deregulation initiatives, including the introduction of regulatory budgets. Have they worked?
The regulation of risks to health and safety is a particularly tricky policy area. There are constant complaints that we are paying far too much attention to health and safety, and producing dull young adults who are risk- and exercise-averse. However ... we have cut child deaths as a result of preventable accidents from 1,100 in 1979 to less than 200 in 2011. There aren't many parents who would turn back this particular clock. On the other hand - the UK invests heavily in automatic train protection (ATP) where every £5 million saves one life - but it could save 50 lives on the roads. How can this make sense?
Follow the links below to read detailed analyses of, and comment on, these interesting questions.
Deregulation and Better Regulation
The Regulatory Burden - Four Areas of Concern
Has Deregulation Gone Too Far?
- The Financial Crisis & Other Catastrophes
- The Grenfell Tower Fire
- HMRC and Taxation
- What about Risks to Health & Safety?
Deregulation in the UK - A Detailed History