A landmark new report published today (Wednesday, February 24th) by Unchecked champions the value of regulation in Wales and calls on all Wales’ political parties to commit to maintaining and strengthening public standards and protections.
Unchecked, an organisation making the case for common-sense protections which help keep people safe and allow businesses to thrive, is today launching a major campaign drive in Wales – and has received the backing of the Wales TUC.
The report “Safeguarding standards in Wales: why Wales should lead the way”, is published alongside a letter in the Western Mail, co-signed by 10 organisations from across Welsh public and civic life. The report looks at environmental, workers’ rights, and public health and wellbeing standards, highlighting the ways in which these risk being undermined in Wales, and flagging the opportunities to ensure these standards are protected.
It also exposes a huge ‘enforcement gap’ in Wales, with many regulators struggling to fulfil their statutory duties. The ‘enforcement gap’ is further exacerbated by a lack of availability of Wales-only data, which makes it difficult to analyse trends over time, and ensure that regulation is being effectively enforced.
Unchecked are calling on Welsh politicians to commit not only to maintaining and strengthening public standards, but to advocating for them as part of a narrative approach which portrays regulation as an integral part of Wales’ future as a prosperous, thriving and fair economy and society
Candidates can show their support for Unchecked’s call by backing the pledge at http://unchecked.uk/pledge, while members of the public can share their stories at http://unchecked.uk/strongwelshstandards
Emma Rose from Unchecked UK said:
“At Unchecked, we believe that sensible, properly-enforced regulations can deliver diverse social, environmental and economic benefits, and protect Welsh interests – and crucially, we know that the public agree with us.
“The distinct Welsh approach taken to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that there is strong political appetite for uniquely Welsh responses to the big problems of the day. This move has heightened public awareness of devolution – and in many cases, public support.
“As we seek to chart a path out of the Coronavirus crisis, and with elections rapidly approaching, Wales has the chance to do both the right, and the popular thing, and lead the way in the UK by championing common-sense, properly enforced regulation that helps protect the things that matter to Welsh citizens”.
Shavanah Taj, General Secretary of the Wales TUC said:
“If Wales is going to meet its ambition of becoming a Fair Work Nation then we have to use all the levers available to us to make sure that everyone has a meaningful sense of power and control at work. That’s why actions like strengthening the Welsh Government’s Economic Contract to make sure that businesses in receipt of public funds can’t deny trade union access are so important.
“As this report shows so clearly, one of the greatest barriers to achieving Fair Work is the chronic lack of enforcement of employment regulations. Austerity measures over the last 10 years have hollowed out many of the agencies that are meant to be protecting workers. It’s vital that greater recognition is given to the crucial role that regulations and enforcement bodies play.”