Equality Act 2006

House of Lords written question – answered on 30th March 2006.

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Photo of Lord Lester of Herne Hill Lord Lester of Herne Hill Advisory Team On Legal Matters, Cross-Portfolio and Non-Portfolio Responsibilities

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How much they propose to allocate to the Equal Opportunities Commission to fund its duty under the Equality Act 2006 to promote gender equality across the public sector; and how this compares with the amounts allocated to the Commission for Racial Equality and the Disability Rights Commission to fund their equivalent duties; and

What is the basis on which they have calculated their proposed funding of the Equal Opportunities Commission to carry out its duty under the Equality Act 2006 to promote gender equality across the public sector; and

How their proposed funding of the Equal Opportunities Commission to carry out its duty under the Equality Act 2006 to promote gender equality across the public sector compares, in terms of the demands imposed, with their funding of the equivalent duties of the Commission for Racial Equality and the Disability Rights Commission; and

What is the difference of treatment between the Equal Opportunities Commission and the other equality agencies with regard to the funding of its duty to promote equality of opportunity and treatment across the public sector; and what is the reason for any such difference.

Photo of Lord Sainsbury of Turville Lord Sainsbury of Turville Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Trade and Industry) (Science and Innovation)

Funding for FY 2006–07 for the CRE and DRC is as follows:

the Home Office intends to allocate a grant-in-aid of £19.1 million to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE); the planned allocation of grant-in-aid to the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) is £20.902 million; this includes provision for work deriving from the Disability Discrimination Act 2005 including the forthcoming public sector duty to promote equality for disabled people. It will be for the DRC to decide how much it spends promoting disability equality in the public sector.

Officials are still finalising the allocation for the Equal Opportunities Commission, including funding in respect of its work to promote the forthcoming gender duty. Over recent weeks there have been discussions with the EOC around agreeing its resource budget for the coming year. All DTI budgets are currently being finalised in a very tough public expenditure climate.

The resource budget allocation for the EOC for 2005–06 is £9.75 million. This is made up of a baseline funding of £8.005 million plus one-off additional DTI funding of £1.7 million, giving a total of £9.75 million. This included £500,000 that was ring fenced for gender duty work.

The Commission for Equality and Human Rights will come into being in October 2007. The Commission will build on the work of the current DRC and the EOC, together with the areas of sexual orientation, age, and religion or belief that are not covered by the existing Commissions. The CEHR will take on the responsibilities of the CRE in relation to race relations by the end of March 2009, putting expertise on equality, diversity and human rights all in one place. The annual budget will be £70 million which represents a 43 per cent. increase on the budget of the existing three commissions.

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