Equality and the public sector

Can we still afford equality? The government doesn't think so. It certainly thinks we can't afford the Equality and Human Rights Commission – that's why they cut its budget from £70m to £17m and the staff from 525 to 207.
But what message does their reduced status give out?
Will the public sector take this as a green light to cut back on equality? Will the working groups meet less frequently? Will some of the equality targets be quietly dropped? Will equal opportunity training become optional? Will local politicians and senior managers still talk about the need to win the confidence of the whole community or have they already accepted that this is unrealistic in a climate of service cuts, closures and funding reductions? Is there a notion of fair cuts or deliverable cuts?

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