Race re­view re­veals gap­ing in­equal­ity in the UK

The Miracle - - National & Int - Source: Al-Jazeera

Black and eth­nic mi­nor­ity (BME) in­di­vid­u­als are al­most twice as likely to be un­em­ployed as white Bri­tish adults, a govern­ment-backed re­view of racial is­sues in the UK has re­vealed. The au­dit, pub­lished Tues­day by the govern­ment’s “Eth­nic­ity Facts and Fig­ures” web­site, also shows that po­lice are three times more likely to stop and search non-white Bri­tons. Black and Arab Bri­tons are more than 40 per­cent less likely to own their own home, com­pared with white Bri­tons, the re­port said. Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May had or­dered the re­view. “If th­ese dis­par­i­ties can­not be ex­plained then they must be changed,” May said fol­low­ing the re­port, call­ing on govern­ment and the UK’s in­sti­tu­tions. “Peo­ple who have lived with dis­crim­i­na­tion don’t need a govern­ment au­dit to make them aware of the scale of the chal­lenge,” she added. “But this au­dit means that for so­ci­ety as a whole - for govern­ment, for our pub­lic ser­vices - there is nowhere to hide.” The au­dit cov­ers ar­eas in­clud­ing health, ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­ment, and crime. The Depart­ment for Work and Pen­sions is ex­pected to set up some 20 “hotspot” ar­eas to help eth­nic mi­nor­ity in­di­vid­u­als find em­ploy­ment. The Min­istry of Jus­tice, mean­while, says it will at­tempt to en­sure pris­on­ers of all eth­nic­i­ties are treated ap­pro­pri­ately. Rehman Chishti, Con­ser­va­tive Party MP for Gilling­ham and Rain­ham, called the re­view a “step in the right di­rec­tion”, but ad­mit­ted “it could have been done a lot ear­lier in the seven years since we have been in govern­ment”. “[Now] I want the govern­ment to look at find­ing bot­tom up so­lu­tions, to en­gage with di­verse com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try and work with them to get the best an­swer in ad­dress­ing the chal­lenges they face,” he told Al Jazeera from Lon­don. Chisthi is one of 52 eth­nic mi­nor­ity MPs who ac­count for just eight per­cent of the UK’s par­lia­ment. In the UK as a whole, BME Bri­tons make up about 13 per­cent of

the pop­u­la­tion, ac­cord­ing to the last of­fi­cial cen­sus in 2011. The govern­ment’s re­port on Tues­day fol­lows re­search re­leased on Oc­to­ber 8 sug­gest­ing that higher lev­els of ed­u­ca­tion among cer­tain eth­nic mi­nor­ity groups has not led to more em­ploy­ment or higher salaries. The UK’s Res­o­lu­tion Foun­da­tion, a non-par­ti­san think-tank, said the num­ber Bri­tons of Chi­nese, In­dian and Black African her­itage - aged between 16 and 64 years old - with a de­gree has more than dou­bled since 1999, but em­ploy­ment rates and in­come have not re­flected that change. Kath­leen Hene­han, a pol­icy an­a­lyst for the think-tank, said Tues­day’s find­ings have again shown the ex­tent of eco­nomic in­equal­ity af­fect­ing BME groups in the UK. “BME fam­i­lies are dis­pro­por­tion­ately rep­re­sented in poorer house­holds, de­spite ex­pe­ri­enc­ing rel­a­tively strong in­come growth over re­cent decades,”

she told Al Jazeera. “De­spite astounding progress in terms of get­ting de­grees, BME grad­u­ates still face a jobs gap and pay penalty when they en­ter the work­force.” Fol­low­ing the re­lease of Tues­day’s re­port, so­cial me­dia users shared their views. Ac­tress Kelechi Okafor wrote on Twit­ter: “The ex­tent of racism in Bri­tain is only ‘Shock­ing’ to those who haven’t been pay­ing at­ten­tion.” Seema Chand­wani, sup­porter of the op­po­si­tion Labour Party, wrote: “#RaceAu­dit is a col­lec­tion of ex­ist­ing data from pub­lic bodies. The ev­i­dence has ex­isted for a long time & re­quired ac­tion a long time ago.” Twit­ter user Funmi Ade­bayo said: “The #raceau­dit sadly only looks into the pub­lic sec­tor. I imag­ine the racial dis­par­i­ties are much worse within the pri­vate sec­tor.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.