Deregulation and Contracting Out Bill: . . . and the ones that got away

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The Independent Online
OF THE 605 proposals put forward by the seven Business Task Forces, 76 have so far been rejected by the Government.

Yesterday Michael Heseltine, the President of the Board of Trade, said those thrown out included many of the most 'sensational' recommendations.

But one of the most alarming reports, concerning the relaxation of safety controls on flammable children's nightclothes and toys, remains unresolved. Neil Hamilton, minister for corporate affairs, said: 'We haven't as yet seen a conclusion of the review of this area.' But he criticised press reporting of the clothing review as 'irresponsible' and 'hysterical'. The Government insists that deregulation will not affect consumer protection.

Controversial proposals to scrap a range of health and safety legislation, from the obligation to provide toilet rolls and soap in workplace lavatories to the partial ending of controls over industrial hazards, are also still under discussion.

Mr Heseltine said the recommendations, which it is claimed would bring about the biggest shake-up in health and safety law in 20 years, were being reviewed further by the Health and Safety Commission. There have been reports that the Government has backed off from widespead change in health and safety because it has discovered little scope or demand for it.

Among the rejected recommendations set out yesterday was a push for the abolition of Miras, the mortgage tax relief scheme.

A proposal that the size of notices warning against the sale of tobacco to children be reduced was also thrown out. The Government ruled the present size was not 'prohibitively large' and did not create 'a financial or administrative burden on retailers'. Ministers considered the proposal at odds with their commitment to tackling the illegal sale of tobacco to children.

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