04 August 2010

The equalities

It is hard to believe that the Chancellor's budget could be struck down by the courts but that appears to be the implication of St Theresa's letter. The Guardian reports:
Theresa May, the home secretary and equalities minister, warned the chancellor that cuts in the budget could widen inequality in Britain and ran a "real risk" of breaking the law, a letter leaked to the Guardian shows.

The letter was sent to George Osborne on 9 June, less than a fortnight before his emergency budget, and was copied to David Cameron.

May wrote "there are real risks" that people ranging from ethnic minorities to women, to the disabled and the old, would be "disproportionately affected".


May warns that government spending decisions face being struck down by the judiciary. "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 challenge by, for instance, recipients of public services, trades unions or other groups affected by these decisions."

Despite this letter, it would appear that Treasury completely and utterly ignored the advice when it came to the budget and - possibly - to the public spending review. As The Guardian reveals, the court cases are now in preparation.

This business of government: it becomes increasingly complicated ...

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