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 section of this website examines these questions in some detail.
All this regulation has inevitably led to complaints about the burden and intrusiveness of regulation. Ministers have responded by launching frequent deregulation and better regulation initiatives, including the introduction of regulatory budgets. Have they worked?
The Regulatory Burden - Four Areas of Concern
Has Deregulation Gone Too Far?
Deregulation in the UK - A Detailed History
Risks to Health and Safety
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 was said to save one life - but it could save many more lives on the roads. How can this make sense?
The following link leads through to a number of interesting web pages.