MP on warpath over minorities

Date published: 26 October 2012

OLDHAM East and Saddleworth MP Debbie Abrahams has slammed the Government for taking away powers from a body which helps to tackle discrimination among minority groups.

Mrs Abrahams said it was “absolutely outrageous” to downgrade The Equality and Human Rights Commission, which upholds equality laws covering gender, disability, age, sexual orientation and race and has power to launch investigations into public services suspected of discriminating.

The coalition has halved its budget and stripped many of its powers, and critics fear the commission will become little more than an equality think tank.

Mrs Abrahams said: “What message does the Minister think this gives? How can they justify this downgrading of the EHRC in such conditions?

“The briefing uses very neutral language, but expresses blatant concern about the removal of important functions. The idea that people should have to pay to issue a challenge when they have been discriminated against is outrageous.”

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