Harriet Harman announces inquiry into inequality across UK

Equality minister Harriet Harman yesterday announced the creation of an independent group of experts to report on inequality in the UK.

The National Equality Panel, led by the London School of Economics’ Professor John Hills, will provide an analysis of inequality by the end of 2009, including the extent to which people’s life chances are influenced by gender, race, disability, age and social background.

Speaking at the TUC conference in Brighton, Harman said that the government needed “clarity of evidence” to tackle inequalities. She added: “The robust evidence base that the panel will produce will help us properly target measures to address persisting equality gaps and build on the good work that we have already done.”  

Harman said wealth, family background and geographical location were underlying factors leading to inequality. However, she omitted the phrase “social class” from her speech, which had been included in an early draft and press releases.

The panel will start work next month.

Read Outside Left’s Harriet Harman: Hardly a class act

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