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Thinktank slams equality criticism of the Budget

A fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs has criticised the Equality and Human Rights Commission for pushing the Treasury to show it has considered the impact of the Budget and the spending review on vulnerable groups.

Last week, the EHRC revealed it has been in discussions with the Treasury since the Budget, seeking reassurances that it has “complied with the legislation and assessed the impact of its decisions on vulnerable groups”. If the Treasury cannot prove this, the EHRC says will consider “appropriate enforcement action”.

But IEA fellow Len Shackleton says the commission has “long been subject to mission creep but has not previously sought a veto on fiscal policy”.

He says: “The Government should not get bogged down in the argument about the impact of the Budget on the poor as the impact of Budgets on individuals is very difficult to fully understand and allegedly vulnerable groups account for about two-thirds of the population.”

A Treasury spokesman says: “Departments consider the imp-act of the Budget on gender, race and disability as they develop and implement policies. This is in line with legal obligations.”

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