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Safety rules set to be relaxed

Self-employed workers are to be exempt from health and safety laws under a series of measures to be unveiled next week aimed at breathing life into Britain's flagging economy.

It is understood the Queen's Speech on Wednesday, setting out the Government's legislative programme for the new parliamentary session, will include a series of bills designed to generate growth.

A deregulation bill will mean that the self-employed whose activities do not pose a risk of harm to others will no longer be subject to health and safety legislation.

It will also remove the requirement for the issuing motor insurance certificates, moving to a system where the information is held online - a move ministers estimate will save business around £33 million a year.

There will be a bill to take forward Chancellor George Osborne's Budget commitment to cut employers' national insurance contributions for small businesses, which the Treasury says will save firms £1.7 billion a year by 2017-18.

Infrastructure development will be supported with an energy bill intended to encourage investment in a new generation of power stations while also ensuring consumers get the best deal available from their suppliers.

There will be a legislation also to support the construction of the controversial HS2 high-speed rail line linking London with the Midlands and the North of England.

Intellectual property rights will be modernised in a bill which will also enact the agreement for part of the new European unified patent court to be hosted in London, which is estimated to be worth £200 million a year to the economy.


From Belfast Telegraph