Cuts Watch #167: Equalities
Gender equality campaign the Fawcett Society has asked the High Court to review the emergency budget. The Society estimates that the Budget’s focus on cuts in benefits and tax credits means that 72% of its cuts will come from women’s income and just 28% from men’s.
Fawcett will argue that the public sector equality duties meant that the Treasury was legally required to carry out an equality impact assessment of the Budget proposals but it failed to do so.
reassurances that they will comply with their equality duties when making decisions about the overall deficit reduction, and in particular in relation to any changes to tax and benefits for which they are directly responsible.
UNISON has pointed out that planned cuts in Lambeth could be racially discriminatory; other equality laws (and possibly the Human Rights Act) may be relevant in other cases. It seems likely that unions’ equality campaigners may be able to make a significant contribution to anti-cuts campaigns.
The Coalition Agreement says:
The Government believes that there are many barriers to social mobility and equal opportunities in Britain today, with too many children held back because of their social background, and too many people of all ages held back because of their gender, race, religion or sexuality. We need concerted government action to tear down these barriers and help to build a fairer society.