An all-party committee of MPs has said it may take another 78 years to close the gender pay gap and deep inequalities and discrimination persist in Britain, despite 40 years of anti-discrimination legislation.
The MPs on the Department for Communities and Local Government Select Committee argued that delays to the government’s single equality Bill proved that the issue was no longer an immediate priority, and warned that some minority groups may never achieve equality if current trends continue.
Dr Phyllis Starkey MP, chair of the cross-party select committee, called on the government to do still more to tackle unfair discrimination and reduce inequalities. “There are not just moral imperatives in reducing inequality and discrimination, but economic and social benefits to be gained too,” Starkey said.
“I welcome the creation of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, but it needs to be given the proper legislative support, ” she said.
The MP’s urged the government to press ahead with the Single Equalities Act without further delay.
From 1 October, the Commission for Equality and Human Rights will take over work from the Disability Rights Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality, and the Equal Opportunities Commission. The new body will be headed by Trevor Phillips.
The top two HR positions at the Commission for Equality and Human Rights were filled last month.