Removing important safety rules in a bid to save society money in the short term is both short-sighted and misguided, argues Mike Robinson.

When does something designed to protect you from danger become something that restricts your freedom and a cost you would rather avoid?

It is a question that has forever dogged health and safety, and is once again being asked by politicians eager to ditch so-called ‘red tape’ in a bid to curb the rising cost of living.

Back in the 1980s, when our founder James Tye successfully campaigned to make wearing a seat belt a legal requirement, Lord Balfour of Inchrye opposed it. He argued the “nanny state” would simply intrude further into our lives on things like smoking and — heaven forfend — mandating the use of life jackets. Both of these we now, of course, accept as common sense.


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