HSE business plan reveals further budget cuts
- Date: Tuesday 19th April 2016
The HSE’s annual funding from central government will be cut by a further 12.5% by 2019/20, bringing the total reduction since 2009/10 to 46%.
The money the HSE receives from its parent department, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), will decrease year on year throughout the current parliament. In the final year, 2019/20, the executive will receive £123.4 million, which compares to £231 million in 2009/10.
In the current year, 2016/17, the HSE will get £141 million from the government and generate £94 million in income, which includes fees and licensing, such as Fee for Intervention.
The figures are outlined in the regulator’s business plan for 2016/17, which sets out the HSE’s objectives for the coming year.
The document does not mention the income that the HSE expects to generate by the end of the parliament to close the budget shortfall, but targets in its last business plan said that by 2020 it aims to have doubled its commercial revenue, which does not include its fees, to £35 million.
The business plan says that, “in responding to this financial challenge, the HSE will seek to maintain current levels of its core regulatory activities including permissioning, inspection, investigation and enforcement.”
Work to simplify and streamline legislation and guidance will continue over the coming year, with the HSE making a “significant contribution” to government plans to reduce the cost of regulatory compliance by £10 billion by the end of the parliament.
The business plan lists five areas in which the HSE is looking to make simplifications, including regulations governing the use of chemicals, namely the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, the Control of Lead at Work Regulations and the Dangerous Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations.
The regulator is also developing proposals to place less emphasis on risk assessment paperwork and more on risk control. The document adds that the HSE will review the benefits and costs of legislation governing plant and equipment inspection, producing a report on how proportionate the current requirements are and options for improvement.
Other targets in the business plan include bringing together the existing evidence on work-related ill health to prioritise the executive’s activities.
The HSE will also undertake a full review of its sector strategies, which guide its proactive regulatory work, to align them with its recently launched strategy Helping Great Britain work well.
On the strategy, it says it will identify and actively engage with “at least three” significant initiatives linking to its overarching themes that are led by others, such as industry groups, other parts of government or unions.
Source: Health and Safety at Work