Labour Research August 2016


Equality watchdog cuts criticised

The PCS civil service union and general union Unite have joined forces to urge the government to reverse cuts of 25% to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in the wake of a 50% increase in hate crimes since the Brexit vote.

The unions, which represent workers at the EHRC, warn that the latest round of cuts will lead to less support for victims of discrimination and undermine the ability of the EHRC to effectively challenge discrimination and hate crime at a time when it is on the rise. 

The 25% cut over the next four years will lead to fewer caseworkers supporting victims of discrimination, and the closure of the EHRC’s offices in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds and Newcastle. 

Having already faced massive cuts of 70% since 2010, resulting in the loss of its specialist helpline and closure of its conciliation service and grants programme, the equality watchdog now faces losing its United Nations “A” status as a national human rights institution because of a lack of funding. 

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said that instead of slashing the EHRC’s budgets again, “the government should be investing significant resources to tackle the threat we’re seeing from a rise in hate crime and discrimination”.