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A report published today (Tuesday) by the European Commission’s High Level Group on Administrative Burdens – chaired by Dr Edmund Stoiber – poses a danger to both workers and consumers alike, says the TUC.

The report suggests scrapping regulations and exempting small and medium businesses from EU rules on employment rights, health and safety, and environmental protection.

However, it has drawn severe criticism from 4 of the 15 members of the group who are publishing a ‘dissenting opinion’ alongside the main report. They argue that the report’s claims of economic benefit are unsupported by factual foundation and that it does not recognise the costs to society of failure to regulate.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Deregulation led to the financial crisis and those who believe it is the ideological answer to every problem are guilty of dangerous magical thinking.

“It’s no wonder that Stoiber failed to get the support of the whole group when his proposals will put workers and consumers at risk by scrapping employment rights, health and safety duties and environmental protection. Even the main trade association for Europe’s small firms has rejected the proposals as senseless.”


- The High Level Group on Administrative Burdens was set up in 2007 to advise the Commission. The members of the group publishing the dissenting opinion are: Nina Renshaw (Transport & Environment Deputy Director), Heidi Rønne-Møller (EU Adviser of the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions), Monika Kosinska (Ex European Public Health Alliance Secretary General) and Jim Murray, former BEUC (European Consumer Organisation) director who represents environmental organizations, workers, consumers and public health on the group.

- All TUC press releases can be found at

- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @tucnews

- On Saturday 18 October the TUC is organising Britain Needs a Pay Rise – a national march and rally in London to call for an economic recovery that delivers for everyone, and for fair wages to help end the living standards squeeze. For more information on the campaign go to

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