Sunday, April 17, 2011

Speak up for Equality

In an attempt to give a populist gloss to a programme of deregulation driven entirely by the interests of big business, the Tory Government have set up their "red tape challenge" website where you can share your views on what regulations should be scrapped.



There doesn't seem to be an option to call for improved legislative protection for workers or consumers - since, as far as this Government is concerned, legislation to protect the rights and welfare of working people is precisely the sort of "red tape" which holds back profits!



Whilst this exercise in CONsultation is primarily a device to assure Daily Mail readers that the Government sees them as more than voting fodder guaranteed to back politicians who actually take their lead from the CBI, there is one aspect so outrageous that it's worth spending the few minutes it takes to respond.



The Government is treating the Equality Act 2010 as part of the consultation - as if it had the same status as the range of secondary legislation, regulations and statutory instruments which are also the subject of consultation.



Since a savage programme of public spending cuts will inevitably hit hardest those who are already vulnerable, it's no shock that the Government want to water down requirements to give effect to commitments to equality. That's why all existing specific equality duties on local authorities have been withdrawn and not replaced (http://www.unison.org.uk/equality/pages_view.asp?did=12698).



It tells you all you need to know about the Tories that they see a simple requirement not to discriminate as pesky "red tape" - to tell them what you think visit http://www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/equalities/.





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