How not to do an equality impact assessment…

We’ve blogged before about the obligation on public authorities in the UK to conduct Equality Impact Assessments on their decisions, which the Fawcett Society is testing in its judicial review case on the Government’s emergency budget.  Well, now we’ve had the Comprehensive Spending Review, and – ooh!  Surprise!  They’ve done an equality impact assessment.

But it’s not good. For now, I’m going to leave it to my good friend ‘In Wales’ over at eurotrib to comment, but here’s my favourite of the quotations she pulled out:

In order to understand the impact of changes in benefits and tax credits on men and women it is necessary to know how families share their income between themselves and their children (if any). It is not enough to simply know the gender of the claimant. It is therefore difficult to assess the impact on gender equality of changes to Child Benefit, which is paid to an individual claimant on behalf of the child, and not for the personal benefit of the claimant; as well as changes to tax credits which are paid on a household basis.

Oh right!  Child benefit is paid for the benefit of the *child*, so the fact that we know women often do much of the work of caring – including the financial work of budgeting for the children’s needs – is kind of irrelevant.

As In Wales comments,

They’ve done an EIA, it just isn’t a robust or good one, and it is shifting the responsibility over to the authorities who will have to implement the cuts.

Bravo.  Fairness and equality, only if you can afford it.


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