Why stand up for our shared protections?

We all want to live in a society where the food we eat and the things we buy are safe, where the natural environment is protected, and where our homes and workplaces are secure. The common-sense rules that we often take for granted safeguard the things we care about and allow us to flourish.

But successive governments have sought to reduce these protections, seeing them as a burden on business.  Scrapping protections means losing the sensible rules that have driven up living standards, protected the most vulnerable, and helped create the rights, reassurances and freedoms that we all enjoy.

In fact, strong protections boost jobs and skills and deliver social, environmental and economic benefits. Most businesses agree that sensible rules don’t hold us back, they enhance the nation’s growth and competitiveness. And our research shows wide public support for common-sense protections, across the political spectrum.

We want to show the government how much we all value the shared protections that help us thrive.

Find out more
Join the campaign

Why stand up for our shared protections?

We all want to live in a society where the food we eat and the things we buy are safe, where the natural environment is protected, and where our homes and workplaces are secure. The common-sense rules that we often take for granted safeguard the things we care about and allow us to flourish.

But successive governments have sought to reduce these protections, seeing them as a burden on business.  Scrapping protections means losing the sensible rules that have driven up living standards, protected the most vulnerable, and helped create the rights, reassurances and freedoms that we all enjoy.

In fact, strong protections boost jobs and skills and deliver social, environmental and economic benefits. Most businesses agree that sensible rules don’t hold us back, they enhance the nation’s growth and competitiveness. And our research shows wide public support for common-sense protections, across the political spectrum.

We want to show the government how much we all value the shared protections that help us thrive.

Find out more
Join the campaign

Making sure public protectors have the tools for the job

We rely on the hard work of public protection teams to keep us safe. From carrying out food safety inspections and checking businesses pay their tax, to monitoring pollution levels, they make sure businesses are following the rules that benefit all of us.

But the difficult job they do is being made even harder by years of funding cuts and falling staff numbers:

  • Funding for the environmental and social protection work of major national regulators fell by 50% between 2009 and 2018.

  • The number of staff who work in these areas has dropped by 30%.

As a result the UK is facing an enforcement gap, with checks, inspections and monitoring plummeting across almost every area of public life. This leaves unscrupulous businesses free to dodge the rules, gaining an unfair advantage and putting people at risk.

  • Employers can now expect a visit from HMRC’s national minimum wage inspectors just once in 250 years.

  • The average business can expect to be visited by health and safety inspectors once every 20 years. 

  • The average farmer can expect a visit from the Environment Agency every 200 years.

There’s no point having sensible rules if nobody can check they’re being followed.

We’re working to make sure the government invests in the public bodies that look out for us, so they have the tools for the job.

Read the briefing
Join the campaign

Making sure public protectors have the tools for the job

We rely on the hard work of public protection teams to keep us safe. From carrying out food safety inspections and checking businesses pay their tax, to monitoring pollution levels, they make sure businesses are following the rules that benefit all of us.

But the difficult job they do is being made even harder by years of funding cuts and falling staff numbers:

  • Funding for the environmental and social protection work of major national regulators fell by 50% between 2009 and 2018.

  • The number of staff who work in these areas has dropped by 30%.

As a result the UK is facing an enforcement gap, with checks, inspections and monitoring plummeting across almost every area of public life. This leaves unscrupulous businesses free to dodge the rules, gaining an unfair advantage and putting people at risk.

  • Employers can now expect a visit from HMRC’s national minimum wage inspectors just once in 250 years.

  • The average business can expect to be visited by health and safety inspectors once every 20 years. 

  • The average farmer can expect a visit from the Environment Agency every 200 years.

There’s no point having sensible rules if nobody can check they’re being followed.

We’re working to make sure the government invests in the public bodies that look out for us, so they have the tools for the job.

Read the briefing
Join the campaign

Unchecked UK has mapped the declines in budgets, staff, and enforcement activity across major regulators and Local Authorities over a nine year period

Unchecked UK has mapped the declines in budgets, staff, and enforcement activity across major regulators and Local Authorities over a nine year period

See our research

Our shared protections underpin all areas of our lives: the food we eat and the things we buy, the natural environment, our local communities, homes and workplaces.

Find out more:

Our shared protections underpin all areas of our lives: the food we eat and the things we buy, the natural
environment, our local communities, homes and workplaces.

Find out more:

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