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17:04, 12 December 2017 Tuesday
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May urges UK to act against racial disparities
May urges UK to act against racial disparities

New data suggests wide gaps in education, employment and income between Britain's racial groups

World Bulletin / News Desk

British Prime Minister Theresa May has urged society to “explain or change” disparities in how people from different ethnic and racial backgrounds are treated.

May’s call came as a government audit on Tuesday laid bare country-wide disparities in schooling, the job market and justice system.

The U.K. premier said the audit would become an “essential resource in the battle to defeat ethnic injustice”.

Published on Tuesday, the government’s Racial Disparities Audit suggested that unemployment for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people is nearly double that of White British adults.

Black Caribbean pupils are being permanently excluded from school three times as often as White British pupils.

Over 70 percent of primary school pupils from a Chinese background meet the expected standard for reading, writing and mathematics, compared to 54 percent of White British pupils and 13 percent of White Gypsy and Roma pupils, the audit also found.

Some of the key findings from the audit, based on data collected from government bodies, also say unemployment among black, Asian and other ethnic minorities is almost double that of White British adults.

Those more likely to own their own home are Indian, Pakistani and White citizens compared to black and Bangladeshi people, it also suggested.

Tuesday’s audit release coincided with new research that suggested ethnic-minority women are being hardest hit by austerity.

Black and Asian households have faced the biggest drop in living standards, according to the report by the Runnymede Trust and Women’s Budget Group.

The drops translate into a real-terms average annual loss of just over £8,400 ($11,000) and around £11,700 ($15,400).

May said that “people who have lived with discrimination don’t need a government audit to make them aware of the scale of the challenge.” 

According to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, the data would not provide the answers to why disparity existed, but said the government wanted to work with outside groups to come up with ways it could tackle the injustice.

“We are not pretending today we are sitting here with all the answers, some of them might have a rational explanation but others will require action,” he told the BBC.

A recent review by opposition Labour lawmaker David Lammy, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Race and Community, suggested disparities existed in Britain’s justice system.

The review published last month said people from BAME backgrounds make up 25 percent of the prison population in England and Wales and 41 percent of the youth justice system, despite these groups being only 14 percent of the general population.

 


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