Socialist Worker

We can afford equal rights

Issue No. 2143

The recession means that women can’t have equal pay with men. Astonishingly, that is what the government body charged with safeguarding equality believes.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission told the government this week that businesses should not have to undergo equal pay reviews as they would be too expensive.

The government agrees. It is understood to have dropped the reviews from its forthcoming Equalities Bill after discussions with the bosses’ CBI organisation.

Women’s pay is on average 17 percent less than men’s, and this gap increases to 36.5 percent for part-time women workers. And the divide is increasing.

Yet there is more than enough money in the system to give women equal pay. The bosses are still raking in profits and the government can afford to throw billions at the banks.

New Labour’s abandonment of equality is not a financial decision – it is a political one.

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What We Think
Tue 17 Mar 2009, 18:45 GMT
Issue No. 2143
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