Spending halt on rail safety urged
Mr Willetts, former director of the Thatcherite Centre for Policy Studies, said in a Social Market Foundation paper that tomorrow's No 10 seminar on deregulation would give John Major a chance to seize the initiative on an issue of increasing concern to consumers and business.
He said that the impetus had to come from the Prime Minister because the Department of Trade and Industry represented the interests of large rather than small business, while the Treasury appeared more concerned with spending controls than the stimulation of a free market economy.
Analysing a variety of regulatory case studies, Mr Willetts said that Whitehall aimed for the highest standards regardless of the costs it was imposing on private enterprise; officials tried to put the blame on Brussels or local authorities for their own excess zeal; and that regulation driven by considerations of health, safety and environmental protection could not be allowed to override all cost constraints.
Underlining that latter point, Mr Willetts posed a riddle for Mr Major: 'How can you spend over pounds 200m a year on rail safety and increase transport deaths?'
He said the answer was that by forcing higher spending on rail safety, passengers were being driven on to the roads by higher fares, where the risk of death was almost five times greater.
The Prime Minister should ask for a comparative study of rail and road safety requirements to maximise the number of lives saved, Mr Willetts said.
He added: 'He might also call for a moratorium on implementation of all further rail safety requirements until it has been shown that these will save lives in total.'
- 1 Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
- 4 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 5 E.L James's #AskELJames Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
Michael Douglas regrets 'embarrassing' Catherine Zeta-Jones with oral sex comments
Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
Dutch city of Utrecht to experiment with a universal, unconditional 'basic income'
Tunisian builder has been hailed a hero after knocking gunman to the ground with roof tiles
German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Extend Right To Buy to tenants of private landlords, Labour's Jeremy Corbyn says
David Cameron struck double blow in his hopes to win Britain a new EU deal
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
£500 - £600 per day: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Solution Architect is requir...
£18k - 20k per year: 360 Resourcing Solutions: ROLE: Export Sales Coordinato...
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The largest developer of mobile...
£22500 - £27000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: Since our inception in 1986, STh...