More of the usual nonsense from the Tory benches at DWP questions today on health and safety legislation. There were three planted questions on the Order Paper, all asking what steps the Secretary of State has taken to reduce the level of health and safety regulation affecting business. This is despite the welcome he gave in November to the report by Professor Ragnar Lofstedt, which concluded “there is no case for radically altering current health and safety legislation” and that “the existing regulatory arrangements are broadly right”. IDS somewhat gave the game away – ie it’s all about scaremongering and pandering to the tabloids who peddle ‘elf and safety stories of dubious authenticity – in his answer to Tobias Ellwood, who had a mini-rant about schools chopping down trees in case children climbed them and teachers not being able to change lightbulbs until they’d been on the climbing a six foot ladder training course. IDS responded that such stories resulted from over-zealous interpretation of health and safety principles, and usually had no basis at all in law. In which case, why is he getting his backbenchers to bang on about changing the law?
Health and safety at DWP Qs