Ian today challenged the Secretary of State for business, Innovation and Skills on the scrapping of the Equalities Act.

The exchanges arose as part of the Secretary of State’s appearance before the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee to give evidence on the Committees enquiry into “Rebalancing the Economy:  Trade and Investment – The Plan for Growth”.

During an exchange on The Plan for Growth, Ian Murray MP, asked the Secretary of State if, as part of the “Red Tape Challenge” to cut regulations for business, if he had any intention of scrapping the Equality Act 2010, which is Primary Legislation.  The Secretary of State reassured the Committee that he had no intention of doing so.

Ian strongly challenged the Secretary of State as the Equalities page of the www.redtapechallenge.cabinetoffice.gov.uk clearly states that “You can find the Equality Act 2010 here.  Tell us what you think should happen to this Act and why, being specific where possible: Should they be scrapped altogether?”.

The Secretary of State responded by saying that, “You are quite right, and I regret that. It should not have gone out in that form. In the last few days a corrective has been put on the website making it very clear that that was not the intention.”

The enquiry session took place last week and the “corrective” has still not appeared on the website.

Ian said, “The coalition government has no real plan for growth in the economy so they are going after legislation that protects the most vulnerable in our society.  To call for the scrapping of the Equalities Act will take the UK back 30 years in terms of equality issues.  If this is not the Governments intention then they must say so and make it clear that they are fully behind the Equality Act 2010.

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