DAA News Network

UK: Minister warns budget cuts may be illegal

Posted 08/8-10 at 23.14

The Home Secretary, Teresa May, has warned the Chancellor of the Exchequer that cuts imposed in the June Emergency Budget may be in breach of the Equality Act 2010. This is because they would have a disproportionate effect on women, pensioners, ethnic minorities and disabled people. Furthermore, she said, "If there are no processes in place to show that equality issues have been taken into account in relation to particular decisions there is a real risk of successful legal challenges."

The Treasury has said it is confident they have met their obligations under the Act. However, Yvette Cooper, the Labour Party's work and pensions spokesman, found women would bear more than 70 per cent of the £8bn cuts and The Fawcett Society, an equality group, has filed a legal challenge to the Budget.


Tony Benn, veteran Labour MP, has called for a broad-based revolt against the budget cuts. He writes: "The government claims the cuts are unavoidable because the welfare state has been too generous. This is nonsense. Ordinary people are being forced to pay for the bankers' profligacy."

"The £11bn welfare cuts, rise in VAT to 20%, and 25% reductions across government departments target the most vulnerable - disabled people, single parents, those on housing benefit, black and other ethnic minority communities, students, migrant workers, LGBT people and pensioners."


Editorial Comment: Ethnic minority groups have formed a coalition to take on the government over budget cuts, as has the disability lobby - UKDPC, SCOPE, RADAR, MIND, etc.. We will keep readers updated on how the battle progresses.



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