12 October 2020 – today’s press releases

  • Liberal Democrats: Tories must stop dragging their feet on ethnicity pay gaps
  • PM has failed the north of England and the whole country

Liberal Democrats: Tories must stop dragging their feet on ethnicity pay gaps

The Liberal Democrats are calling on Conservative Ministers to “stop dragging their feet” and require large employers to publish their ethnicity pay gaps, as new figures released today from the Office for National Statistics show that, on average, Bangladeshi, Pakistani and certain mixed-race groups are paid 15% less than white people.

Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said:

Too many people’s lives are blighted by discrimination and inequality. Black and Asian children are more likely to grow up in poverty than other children, and ethnicity pay gaps contribute to that injustice.

Gender pay gap reporting, introduced by the Liberal Democrats in Government, has been incredibly powerful to help force employers to take steps to improve gender equality in the workplace. Now we must do the same for ethnicity pay gaps.

It’s now two years since the Government launched a consultation on requiring large employers to publish their ethnicity pay gaps, but they have still not introduced it. It’s time Conservative Ministers stop dragging their feet and act.

PM has failed the north of England and the whole country

Responding to the Prime Minister’s announcement of new coronavirus guidelines, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

People across this country have endured terrible hardships over the past six months, losing loved ones, losing livelihoods and isolating from friends and family. That’s why people are so angry to see their hard work and sacrifices utterly wasted by the incompetence of Boris Johnson.

The priority now has to be keeping people safe and ensuring no one is left behind, particularly in the north of England, which is bearing the brunt of the government’s shambles. Boris Johnson must get testing, tracing and isolating right, and provide proper economic support to save jobs and livelihoods. If the Government does not do more to help, it risks pushing millions of families into poverty.

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  • Are we saying WE could have done better. It is a no win situation.
    The simplest answer is to a complete Lock Down again, are we supporting that, if not why not? Most people recognise that opening pubs and the Universities was, with hindsight, a mistake, have we said anything to rectify that? Check and Trace is fast becoming an impossible task, one only has to watch the ever growing large numbers of people in their vehicles, turning up at the local testing stations. Do we recognise that?
    Maybe a National Government, until the pandemic is over, would be good idea, provided we stay out of it? Have we thought of suggesting that? It is different. I ask because more and more people are clearly getting fed up with politicians of all parties using this situation for their own political and party purposes.

  • John Marriott 13th Oct '20 - 11:51am

    Germany is held up as an exemplar State for control of COVID. Could it have anything to do with the fact that public health is the responsibility of the individual ‘Länder’, as are things like education and the environment, to give just two examples?

    As those LDV readers, who bother to read my contributions will know, I’ve been banging on about devolving power, real power, away from Westminster for some time now. So, if local government could get its act together, might might be in a unique position to show what localism can actually achieve. However, if it resorts to party political points scoring, as the opposition parties did in Parliament last Autumn instead of putting its own house in order, we can probably whistle in the wind.

    So the challenge to local AND national government is this, particularly as far as England is concerned. For the former it’s to streamline your councils and for the latter it’s TRUST local politicians and leaders to do what’s best for their communities and give them back some of the financial support that has been withdrawn over the past decade in the name of austerity. If they don’t always get it exactly right, be prepared to give them time. After all national politicians have hardly been an unqualified success in recent years!

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