Headlines: May 21st, 2002

There’s been a cautious welcome for the idea of joining up the
Government’s measures for tackling inequality.

Age Concern says the proposal to set up a Single Equalities Commission
offers the prospect of age discrimination becoming as significant an
issue as sex or race discrimination.

However, it says it will be looking for reassurances that age
discrimination will not become a poor relation in any new combined
operation. It says the Government must set out clearly how age
discrimination will be dealt with on a level playing field.

It says the new commission will need a governance and leadership
structure in which age is represented on an equal basis with other
strands, a specialist core of expertise on age discrimination,
mechanisms to ensure involvement and input of older people and
organisations upholding their interests, and the resources to do the

Barbara Roche, Minister responsible for equality co-ordination across
Government, announced last week that she was looking at the longer-term
feasibility of a single equality body.

This might be expected to incorporate work currently done by the Equal
Opportunities Commission, the Commission for Racial Equality and the
Disability Rights Commission. It’s been emphasised that there will be
no changes to structures within the lifetime of this Parliament.

Recent DTI consultation Towards Equality And Diversity, which invited
views from business, trade unions and interest groups, attracted support
from respondents for a joined-up approach.

Single Equality Commission Project Terms of Reference can be found at

Towards Equality and Diversity can be found at