Labour’s Baroness Prosser accused of presiding over ‘death knell’ for equalities & human rights by accepting scorched earth cuts to EHRC

One of Labour’s most prominent peers, Margaret Prosser, is at the centre of a political storm after being warned that she is presiding over the “death knell for equalities and human rights” by accepting massive coalition cuts to the Equality and Human Rights Commission. A letter signed by 124 staff at the EHRC – one-third […]

by David Hencke
 
Friday, July 27th, 2012

One of Labour’s most prominent peers, Margaret Prosser, is at the centre of a political storm after being warned that she is presiding over the “death knell for equalities and human rights” by accepting massive coalition cuts to the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

A letter signed by 124 staff at the EHRC – one-third of the remaining employees and obtained by Tribune – reflects growing anger among employees as the organisation moves to privatise its helpline and ends grant aid for discrimination cases.

The letter was sent to the former TUC president and Labour Party treasurer who is now chair of the EHRC resources committee which is overseeing the run down of the organisation. Leaked minutes reveal that the EHRC proposes to spend more on employing 17 consultants than on legal casework defending people facing racial, sexual or gender discrimination.

Some £2.2 million has been allocated to employ 19 executives – the highest receiving £254,000 – in full time jobs at the commission while the total number of staff is slashed to 150. The legal case work budget has been pared to

£1.1 million, with only £650,000 left to spend this year.

The letter says: “Disproportionate expenditure on the management team and the loss of lawyers, case workers and advisers will mean that the victims of discrimination and human rights cases will be badly served.”

It goes on to say to Baroness Prosser: “This is not a rescue but the death knell for equalities and human rights. We believe that even our critics would prefer an independent commission which uses public money wisely on providing services to the public rather than on higher salaries for senior managers and consultants.”

The letter appeals to her to withdraw the proposals and open proper negotiations with staff and unions – mainly the PCS – over the future of the ECHR.

John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington, has written to David Gauke, the minister in charge of HM Revenue and Customs, asking for an investigation into 17 interim managers employed through personal service companies at EHRC for potential tax avoidance.

Mr Gauke announced a clampdown on tax avoidance in a speech to the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange and Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, promised to end tax avoidance by senior staff in Whitehall.

Mr McDonnell writes: “This appears at odds with Mr Alexander’s recommendations. I ask that you take measures to ensure the Commission complies with the new regime.”

Tribune Magazine

Comments
  • DAVID A SHAW July 27, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    The Tories do not want human rights, they just want sweatshop slaves to die at their posts, while they swig wine and laugh at the rest of us……BASTARDS.

  • JJ July 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Yes, but ‘Labour’ are complicit! That’s the point here.

  • jeffery davies July 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    they all in it together

  • Philhow July 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    does JDM need our help again? Because I for one will stand behind him and send a few emails.
    oi oi Jeff: get the feeling we will find out just how much these peers are hiding something that is going to see a lot of mp’s failing on there swords, well I bloody hope so 🙂

  • kasbah July 27, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    All of these different erosions, bit by bit, are transforming Britain into a very different country from what people may identify with. It’s a frightening transformation a retrograde crunching up of safeguards which took decades to work for and put in place.
    The slippery slope? we’re careering down it and I am frightened for the future for us and our children. When will the UK wake up and insist that enough is enough? When?

  • Paul Davidson July 28, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Hello I sent the Commission loads of slear and strong evidence of Hate Crime driven abuses for their Enqiry 2010 they dont do individual cases what a shame as sinse then I had to flee my home last year only to need to flee yet again I got some legal Aid funded by the commission but they cut the cunding for the worker this January needless to say my abusers have totally got away with gross abuses.

    Im sitting here traumatised not wanting to live. The commission does not protect the ordinary person. I have been totally abandoned to my fate.

    • Allen Vincent July 29, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      Don’t give up Paul Davidson, don’t give them the satisfaction. Easier said than done I know but do your best to stay strong no matter what. Can’t believe I am saying this but maybe your local Police could help you? They would probably try and fob you off or not take you seriously but just stand strong and you just might get a good Policeman that will take you seriously as I acknowledge that not all Police are bad, would be better to have someone you know with you though if at all possible.

  • Humanity2012 July 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Bigotry such as the Vicious Attacks against Disabled People being Spat at and Hit
    is a Crime against Humanity

    Different Rosettes Sweet Nothing at All Choice

  • A. Lien July 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    jeffery davies
    they all in it together

    Yes, they are all in it together.

  • Allen Vincent July 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    The Equality & Human Rights Commission are on my deaf “text relay formally typetalk” recorded verbatim calls that prints out actual conversations, imagine MSN if you will, sine early 2010 breaching the Equality Act 2010, Public Sector Equality Duty, EC Human Rights and Disability rights, as well as the predecessor to the Act i.e. the DED Disability Equality Duty.

    The EHRC even unlawfully refused to assist in my case 1SE06800 against the Solicitors Regulation Authority via the awful Sheffield County Court.

    The previous Disability Rights Commission had more teeth and integrity than that EHRC. Trevor Holland is to close to Prime Moron David Cameron and it is wonderful that 17 members of the EHRC are to be investigate for possible tax avoidance.

    AllenVincent489

  • Allen Vincent July 29, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    Correction: For Trevor Holland please read Trevor Phillips.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trevor_Phillips Interesting how HE’S destroying the EHRC and it appears six commissioners have already resigned over Trevor Phillips poor leadership.

  • Allen Vincent January 20, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    http://telly.com/46JDR Please see my twitter and telly video’s AllenVincent489 but over 18 as extreme vulnerable adult abuse from Police and my 76yo Mum Beryl and I very distressed & scared. Going through extreme violations of EC Human Rights, Disability Rights, Equality Act 2010, Public Sector Equality Duty, previously by Sheffield Employment Tribunal, then Sheffield County Court over me suing SRA under Equality Act 1SE06800 and now extreme unlawful acts from primarily Folkestone Magistrate but also Canterbury, Dover and soon in Feb 2013 Margate. Arrested & tortured FIVE times by Canterbury Police since 11th May 2012, Mum agree for me to paint HELP on her front garden fence in Aylesham Nr Canterbury Kent since 25th May 2013, last arrest new years eve 31st December 2012 at Canterbury Police Station, they kicked in two of my Mum’s doors and not release me till 2nd Jan 2013, extreme violations of Police code of conduct including again by senior officers, medical staff & duty solicitors. Magistrates had to come to Canterbury Police cell on 2nd Jan 2013 as I had wrote things like above key words plus Kent Police corruption, torture, even my Mum’s number on wall but magistrate force Mum and I unlawfully to go too my Edlington Doncaster address by the end of midnight 2nd Jan only approx 8 hours later!He ignore our distress, no appropriate adult.Now have perverse, unfair and unreasonable bail conditions that I truly believe is designed to drive me to suicide and/or for the stress and terror of what’s happening to us to drive my Mum to her final fatal heart attack! I am aspergers syndrome so on Autism Spectrum (means I’m clever and tell the truth)! dyspraxia, born deaf, ADHD, clinical depression, asthma, speech defects, high stress & anxiety with no support worker or any support of any kind for my Mum or I, very extreme. Mum and I forced to go again to Folkestone Magistrate Court from Doncaster on 16.1.2013 so 5 hour drive due to bad weather and Mum’s poor health and only 2 hours sleep then the court and solicitor AGAIN trick us as no machine to let me type, magistrate refuse to talk too my Mum or me!!It’s all a horrible unlawful extreme mess. I can’t always communicate this way and calmly and get extreme direct discrimination arising from disability, unlawful denial of service, refusal to make reasonable adjustments that robustly help me. Please will someone be brave and help us.Ps Police professional standards Kent and South Yorkshire, plus corrupt IPCC already cover up complaint and what is happening to us.Now they all exploit and manipulate our disabilities as they know I write better than I can talk etc and Police and other public authorities learnt how to antagonise and provoke my aspergers. Supposed to be back at Folkestone Magistrate on 28th Jan 2013 so if anyone can help PLEASE DO but chance we won’t make it as I am to ill to drive as feel constantly sick now My address is 4 Tait Avenue, Edlington, Doncaster, DN12 1HD and my Mum’s Beryl is 44 Dorman Avenue North, Aylesham, Nr Canterbury, Kent CT3 3BW she on over 10 different tablets a day plus insulin, very ill as am I also with no doctor as unlawfully removed from register after complaint under Equality Act 2010 so that is unlawful victimisation.

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