Not less, but smarter regulation

A quick welcome to ToUChstone’s reporting of yesterday’s debate hosted by the TUC and the British Chambers of Commerce on ‘Is Deregulation Dead?’, and to the ToUChstone pamphlet from earlier this year on ‘The Red Tape Delusion‘. You can view videos of the four opening speeches by the panellists here.

I’ve only caught up with Brendan Barber’s comments so far, but his point that it was Labour’s partial re-regulation of the labour market which ensured that this recession has not had the deleterious impact on unemployment that this country experienced in the 80s and 90s recessions is one that stands repeating in many forums other than this one. Regulation has a clear and vital role to play in boosting job security, in ensuring that unions are engaged in building higher performance workplaces and in underpinning the active labour market programmes which are critical to the increase in employment rates which will deliver growth and prosperity afresh. Barber believes that ultimately, a more intelligent, nuanced approach to labour market regulation, based on an approach to policy driven by evidence rather than ideology, is one that ought to see the commencement of the administration of the last rites to the cult of deregulation.

Amen to that.

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