Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cameron Vows to End 'Safety Culture' PM in Pledge to Business Leaders

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Cameron Vows to End 'Safety Culture' PM in Pledge to Business Leaders

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Woodcock; Dan Bentley

'PRIME Minister David Cameron yesterday said that his new year's resolution was to "kill off the health and safety culture for good".

Health and safety legislation has become an "albatross around the neck of British businesses", costing billions of pounds a year and leaving entrepreneurs in fear of speculative claims, he said.

He announced plans to cap the amount which can be earned by lawyers from small-value personal injury claims against employers and to reduce overall costs in cases funded by "no-win no-fee" deals. And he revealed he has asked the Health and Safety Executive to bring forward to the end of 2012 its timetable for abolishing or consolidating up to half of all existing regulations.

Speaking to an audience of small businesses in Maidenhead, Berkshire, the Prime Minister warned that 2012 was going to be a "difficult year" but insisted the Government would not simply "stand back".

"It's a year when the Government's going to roll up its sleeves and ask, 'what can we do to help business, to help consumers, to help our economy get moving and to help our economy provide jobs for young people?'" he said. The Government would be "waging war against the excessive health and safety culture that has become an albatross around the neck of British businesses".

He added: "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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