New clause 1 - Discrimination in appointments

Part of Police (Northern Ireland) Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 11th March 2003.

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Photo of Rt Hon David Trimble Rt Hon David Trimble Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party 3:00 pm, 11th March 2003

I rise in defence of the amendment and to point out to the Minister that she is getting confused between the census figures arrived at by the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael) for those persons who do not want to declare a religious affiliation, and the figures that the Minister derived from the fair employment monitoring procedures, which attribute community origin to people whether they like it or not. The census figures for those who want to have a religious affiliation are 45 per cent. Protestant, 40 per cent. Catholic, and 14 per cent. other—those persons who do not declare. Once community backgrounds are attributed in accordance with fair employment legislation, the figures are 53 per cent. Protestant, 44 per cent. Catholic, and 3 per cent. other. The Minister's figures should therefore be compared with the 3 per cent. figure, not the 14 per cent. figure. She is getting confused, and I do wish that she would get around to dealing with my point that the target age group is roughly balanced, so the 50-50 requirement is not needed if participation rates are equal. That is the problem.