TORIES have done nothing but exacerbate problems faced by ethnic minority groups, shadow women and equalities secretary Dawn Butler said yesterday after a new report exposed “entrenched” disparities between different ethnic groups in Britain.
The government audit showed disparities in health, employment, education and treatment by police and courts, and revealed that Black, Asian and minority people are twice as likely to be unemployed as white British adults.
Speaking at a diversity event at No 10 yesterday, PM Theresa May blamed public services for treating people of various racial groups differently and issued a warning that they must “explain or change” any variation.
However Labour’s Ms Butler urged Ms May to recognise her own party’s role after it implemented huge cuts to services despite warnings that they would disproportionately affect ethnic minorities.
Ms Butler pointed out that the PM herself had written to then prime minister David Cameron in 2010, expressing concerns that proposed cuts could pose a greater risk to women, ethnic minorities, disabled people and older people than other groups.
“But as Prime Minister, knowing full well the damage that would be caused by the Conservative cuts, she has done nothing but exacerbate the problem ... she has added fuel to the fire,” Ms Butler said.
“If the Prime Minister really feels so strongly about this issue, why did she sit on this report and refuse to share it with Parliament — despite Labour asking her to publish it three months ago?”
The findings, which are published on a new Ethnicity Facts and Figures website, also showed that ethnic minorities are under-represented at senior levels across the public sector and Black Caribbean children were permanently expelled at three times the rate of white British pupils.
It came as a separate report by The Runnymede Trust and Women’s Budget Group found that the poorest black and Asian households will experience the biggest drop in average living standards as a result of Tory austerity between 2010 and 2020.
The analysis of tax and benefit changes and “lost services” found that the poorest fifth of black households would experience a 19.2 per cent drop in living standards — a real-terms average annual loss of £8,407.
And the poorest fifth of Asian households would see their living standards fall 20.1 per cent — an annual loss of £11,678.
Stand Up to Racism’s Sabby Dhalu told the Star that the Tory government had been “the architect of a rise in racism not seen at a political level since the since the 1960s, which has culminated in the doubling of racist attacks in 2016 and the doubling of Islamophobic attacks in 2017.
“This report highlights the fruits of the government’s work. At least the rise in support for Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour means the government is forced to acknowledge that racism is not a votewinner.”
Government Audit Findings
-Only 13 per cent of White Gypsy and Roma pupils at primary school meet the expected standard for reading, writing and maths compared to 54 per cent of White British pupils and 71 per cent of Chinese pupils.
-White teenagers are four times more likely to be smokers than black teenagers.
-Black men are more likely to be found guilty in court with 112 given a jail sentence for every 100 white men.
-32 per cent of white British pupils who have free school meals reached the expected standard at Key Stage 2 (aged 11) — worse than any other ethnic group.
-Indian, Pakistani and white people are more likely to own their own home compared with black people and those from Bangladesh.