Government ‘waging a war against health and safety culture’ – David Cameron

Thursday January 5th, 2012

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that tackling the compensation culture and freeing business from the stranglehold of red tape are part of measures to back enterprise.

Freeing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the stranglehold of health and safety red tape is part of a series of measures.

Speaking to an audience of small businesses and entrepreneurs at Intuit UK in Maidenhead, Mr Cameron announced:

  • An extention to the current scheme that caps the amount that lawyers can earn from small value personal injury claims and reduce overall costs in cases funded by ‘no win no fee’ deals
  • A change on the health and safety law on strict liability for civil claims so that businesses are no longer automatically at fault if something goes wrong
  • Investigation of the demands made by insurance companies on businesses to ensure that levels of compliance do not force businesses to go far beyond what is actually required by the the law to secure their insurance cover
  • Letters will be written to the Chief Executives of all major insurance companies, asking them to set out what they will do to deal with this problem – and they will be invited to a meeting at Downing Street next month to set out their plans

The Prime Minister also announced that next month organisations will be invited 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.

Mr Cameron said: “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.

“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.”

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