Equality and Human Rights Commission threat

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The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has warned that planned funding cuts will cause massive staff lay-offs and may threaten the organisation’s very existence.

In an open letter to its commissioners, EHRC staff state that they are “deeply concerned that the Government’s planned budget cut, which represents a 70 per cent cut to the original budget agreed by parliament, will irrevocably damage the commission’s role as an authoritative and visible body able to challenge inequality”.

The letter claims that proposed cuts will reduce its workforce to 200 by 2012, which represents a cut of 66 per cent on staff rates at the time of the organisation’s creation, following the merger of the Commission for Racial Equality, the Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission in 2007.

Appealing to the EHRC’s commissioners not to ratify the cuts, the letter goes on to say that, “Given the severity of these cuts, which have no comparison in the public sector, we can only conclude that the government is effectively seeking to close the body entrusted by parliament to protect and promote equality and human rights in the UK.”

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