Bristol professor to help Government tackle inequality
Press release issued: 10 September 2008
Harriet Harman, Minister for Women and Equality, today [10 September] announced the setting up of the new National Equality Panel.
The Panel will be independent and consist of academic experts in inequality, including Professor Tariq Modood of Bristol University. It will be chaired by Professor John Hills of the LSE and will provide the Government with an authoritative analysis of inequality in Britain by the end of 2009.
The panel will gather and examine data over the last 10 years as well the very latest available information and will also commission new research where necessary. The panel will:
· provide a factual analysis of how equality trends have changed over the last ten years and map out exactly where gaps have narrowed and widened in society.
· investigate how people’s life chances are affected by gender, race, disability, age and other important aspects of inequality such as where they were born, what kind of family they were born into, where they live and their wealth; and
· show how these factors inter-relate and reinforce one another.
The Panel will build upon work already undertaken by the Government, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Office of National Statistics and others. Once it starts work in October, the Panel will also invite interested groups and organisations to submit evidence for consideration.
Speaking at the TUC, Ms Harman said:
“Equality matters more than ever and it is necessary for individuals, a peaceful society and a strong economy.
“We have made great progress on tackling inequality but we know that inequality doesn’t just come from your gender, race, sexual orientation or disability. What overarches all of these is where you live, your family background, your wealth and social class.
“While we have helped millions of people over the last ten years through policies like Sure Start, tax credits and the national minimum wage, we want to do more.
“To advance equality through our public policy, we need clarity of evidence and focus on the gaps in society and how they have changed over the last ten years.
“The robust evidence base that the panel will produce will help us properly target measures to address persisting equality gaps and build on the good work that we have already done.”