The head of the RMT union has labelled Chancellor Gordon Brown a ‘neo-conservative’ for his plans to deregulate the railway business.
Brown announced this morning that in future, inspectors would target ‘bad traders’ – bringing to an end the old system of continuous inspection.
“Under a risk-based approach, there is no unjustifiable inspection, form-filling or requirement for information,” Brown said. “Not just a light touch, but a limited touch. Instead of routine regulation trying to cover all, the risk-based approach targets the necessary few.”
He said that the government would bring in legislation early in 2006 to cut the number of regulatory bodies, from 29 to just seven.
However, Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT, said: “When dealing with the management caste, who are not to be trusted, citizens want all the remedies and safeguards we have secured to have the force of law.
“Gordon Brown is wrong in his neo-conservative belief that unregulated business will act responsibly and that reputation with customers and investors is more important to behaviour than regulation,” Crow said.
He added that inquiries after recent major railway accidents have shown that the companies did act irresponsibly and had left many people dead.