Monday , November 23 2020
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To return to the costs of bureaucracy

Summary:
Yesterday we noted that excessive health and safety bureaucracy leads to a reduction in health and safety. Today there is an international example of the same thing:A new polio vaccine has now been created to deal with these cases. It also uses a weakened live virus, but it has been genetically engineered to prevent it from mutating and becoming harmful. This new vaccine is now being tested, with funds provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others. However, the vaccine is not yet licensed. Not surprisingly, this is causing frustration as vaccine-derived polio cases rise alarmingly. As a result, many doctors and scientists are now urging the World Health Organization to use its emergency-use listing process to give them the go-ahead to use the vaccine now.We have the new and

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Yesterday we noted that excessive health and safety bureaucracy leads to a reduction in health and safety. Today there is an international example of the same thing:

A new polio vaccine has now been created to deal with these cases. It also uses a weakened live virus, but it has been genetically engineered to prevent it from mutating and becoming harmful. This new vaccine is now being tested, with funds provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others.

However, the vaccine is not yet licensed. Not surprisingly, this is causing frustration as vaccine-derived polio cases rise alarmingly. As a result, many doctors and scientists are now urging the World Health Organization to use its emergency-use listing process to give them the go-ahead to use the vaccine now.

We have the new and necessary vaccine. We even know it works. But the bureaucracy hasn’t jotted and tittled as yet and therefore there are those extra costs. Bureaucratic regulation has costs, here, as with rail safety, in terms of lives.

It’s also possible for bureaucracy to entirely negate the aim:

The government’s plan to insulate England’s draughty homes is faltering because builders and installers are failing to sign up, leaving thousands of households unable to access the £3bn green home grants.

No, they’re entirely able to access the grants. They just can’t spend them:

According to government data, only 1,174 installers have signed up to the scheme, which started on 30 September, while more than 36,000 householders have applied for the grants, which will be available until March.

So why the shortage of providers?

Andrew McCausland, the director of Wirral Property Group, spent about £6,000 and an estimated 160 hours of unpaid work to get his team accredited. He felt the process was worthwhile given the size of his business, but said smaller firms could find it more of a challenge.

“It has taken me many days to work through the requirements of the various certifying and accrediting bodies and arrange suitable insurance cover – the whole process has been very time-consuming for me to navigate,” he said. “I would advise other builders to only get involved if they have dedicated administrative support on the payroll.”

All rather come and see the bureaucracy inherent in the system, isn’t it?

At some point this urge to enforce box ticking becomes counterproductive. Those who could actually be doing things either won’t, because of the paperwork, or can’t, because of the paperwork. The sadness of the current system seems to be that we have passed that point of it all being counterproductive. A bonfire of the regulations is therefore necessary. Even if we’ve missed that November 5th chance for a bonfire of the regulators. For this year….

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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