Thursday, 17 December, 2020

Dr Wanda Wyporska, Executive Director, The Equality Trust said:

“If the Government were serious about ‘levelling-up’ and socio-economic inequality, then it would commence the Socio-Economic Duty immediately, as Scotland has done, as some local councils have done and as Wales has committed to. 

Commission after commission, report after report and generations of statistics and data have demonstrated that social and economic inequalities are inextricably linked. This blatant dismissal of the impacts of structural inequalities and discrimination and a crude attempt to sow division between working class people is fooling no-one.”

The Equality Trust and Just Fair are stepping up their call for the enactment of the Socio-Economic Duty, Section 1 of The Equality Act 2010. The Duty states that: “An authority to which this section applies must, when making decisions of a strategic nature about how to exercise its functions, have due regard to the desirability of exercising them in a way that is designed to reduce the inequalities of outcome which result from socio-economic disadvantage.”

The campaign has been strengthened last month by a call to enact the Socio-Economic Duty from the newly launched Inequalities in Health Alliance, a coalition of nearly 80 organisations, convened by the Royal College of Physicians. In polling carried out for the IHA, of those surveyed, 78% agreed (50% strongly) that all parts of Government in each part of the UK should have to consider the impact of their policies on people who are less well off. In addition, the Lawrence Review released last month, also recommended the enactment of the Socio-Economic Duty and Labour MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth, Debbie Abrahams, has drawn up a Private Members Bill intended to introduce the Duty. 

Ends:

Notes to editors:

The Equality Trust is the national registered charity that works to improve the quality of life in the UK by reducing social and economic inequalities. UK income inequality is among the highest in the developed world and evidence shows in countries with high levels of such inequality, we also see poorer mental and physical health, higher levels of imprisonment and violent crime, poorer educational outcomes and lower levels of trust. Inequality affects us all. For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Dr Wanda Wyporska on 07837 909 418, wanda.wyporska@equalitytrust.org.uk.