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News ->New Review shows inequality damanges the economy

(20 March 2006)

Trevor PhillipsThe interim consultation report for the Equalities Review is published today and shows that persistent inequality could seriously damage the economy and cost society billions each year in lost income. This wide ranging independent review was announced last year by Prime Minister Tony Blair and Trevor Phillips was asked to chair it. Trevor is also Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality.

The interim consultation report looks at what inequalities still persist, gives some novel ways to measure them and where focus is needed to make people more equal. It also identifies eleven current challenges where there are critical penalties causing inequality, which are:

* Poor children, particularly boys, and certain ethnic groups are more likely to experience less stimulating home learning environments

* Ethnic minority children are less likely to attend pre-school education

* Raising the attainment of under-performing ethnic minority pupils, particularly in the primary years

* Reducing exclusions among boys and certain ethnic minorities

* The educational attainment of lesbian, gay and bisexual teenagers who have suffered homophobic bullying

* The employment prospects of Pakistani and Bangladeshi young people not in employment education or training

* Older women with low levels of literacy

* The job prospects of lone and partnered women after having children

* The job prospects of Pakistani and Bangladeshi women

* The job prospects of some disabled people

* The job prospects and quality of life of older people after a bereavement of a partner or a parent

Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Equalities Review said: "We are moving in the right direction, but persistent inequality still exists. For example, women with children are by far the least able to get a job when compared to men with children or single men and women.

This reviews shows where we need to focus our efforts to ensure that all of those who are disadvantaged in some way are given the opportunity to reach their full potential and contribute to a vibrant and successful UK economy.

A final report will be published in autumn 2006 which will recommend proposals for public policy to deal with the causes and affects of inequality. It will also look at how to deal with new challenges such as the collection of genetic data, an ageing population and the increasing number of carers, and what to do when support systems fail.

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