"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Government accused of dismantling equity laws.


Fawcett Society report says coalition has been reversing and dismantling equality laws.

Includes a picture of our protest on 9th July 2013 -
'Protests outside the Home Office on the anniversary of the UK's new family migration policy, which prevents UK citizens and refugees earning less than £18,600 from bringing non-EU spouses to live in the UK.'

Equality campaigners have accused the government of a systematic assault on measures designed to protect women and minorities, amid fears that a key requirement to end discrimination is to be scrapped.

In a report out this week, the Fawcett Society accuses the coalition government of "weakening the legal and institutional measures concerned with equality".

https://twitter.com/fawcettsociety :
Preview of our new report out tmrw http://bit.ly/13bLfMM  'Red Tape Red Lines warns of 'dismantling of equality law'

Let's be clear. As recently as the end of June, the government (in the form of Mark Harper, Immigration Minister) said : “the Government is satisfied the minimum income requirement is working as intended” ( via http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/blog/2013/07/attacks-house-lords-and-high-court-build-momentum-family-migration-campaign ) :

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2013-06-25a.161167.h :

Fiona O'Donnell (East Lothian, Labour):
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will review the effects of the minimum income requirement for UK citizens to bring a spouse or partner of non-European Economic Area nationality to settle in the UK.

Mark Harper (Forest of Dean, Conservative) :
The Government is satisfied the minimum income requirement is working as intended. However, as with all new policies, we will keep the impact under review in the light of the published immigration statistics and other sources of information available. These will include the information and representations provided by those affected by the rules, such as are contained in the report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration published on 10 June 2013.

One may reasonably conclude that discrimination was an intended consequence. As Migration Observatory warned last year ( 'Women, young people and non-Londoners are most affected by changes to family migration policy' - http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/press-releases/women-young-people-and-non-londoners-are-most-affected-changes-family-migration-polic ) :
             61% of women and 32% of men will not qualify to bring in a family member. 

(In addition to regional, class and race discrimination - The areas of England with the lowest eligibility are Merseyside, where 56% of people will not be eligible, North West England (53%) and Yorkshire and Humberside (52%). There's also a strong ethnic element to this - see the Middlesex University submission to the APPG inquiry 'Divided families but some more divided than others' : http://www.ctbi.org.uk/pdf_view.php?id=862

Ethnicity                       Male median wage        Female median wage
UK population              £24,000                      £15,000
British                           £24,000                      £14,600
Other White                 £22,000                      £15,600
Pakistani                       £15,500                      £9,700
Indian                           £23,000                      £18,000
Bangladeshi                  £8,400                        £10,700
Chinese                        £20,000                       £19,000
Other Asian                  £18,000                      £13,200
Black Caribbean           £20,800                      £19,200
Black African                £19,500                      £15,600
Other Black                  £19,800                      £16,900
White & B Caribbean    £28,000                     £18,000
White & B African         £24,000                     £15,600
White Asian                   £26,400                     £19,200
Other Mixed                  £22,000                     £17,500

Clearly women, and especially women from the Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities, are hit hard by these rules.

'Can't buy me love' - 'As of 9 July, the UK will have one of the world’s highest income requirements for people to reunite with their family.' : http://www.mipex.eu/blog/cant-buy-me-love

It's also worth noting the underhand way the rules were brought in in the first place ( http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/introduction.html ). The rules, which have been so far-reaching and had such dramatic, life-altering consequences for so many people ( http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/stories ) was brought in through secondary legislation. Through no vote in Parliament. When the courts forced the government to do something about that ('Alvi' - http://www.freemovement.org.uk/2012/07/18/analysis-of-alvi/ ), there was a somewhat lacklustre debate in the Lords (as the Commons had gone to recess - http://www.freemovement.org.uk/2012/07/19/new-immigration-rules-brought-in-immediately/ )

Life-altering for many, yes. Even for me. I -meet- the requirements but might not have done under slightly different circumstances. I'm a placid kind of fellow. It takes a lot to get me this wound up, for so long - every day for over a year now.

https://twitter.com/BaileyYamamoto :
Votes for Women! - ooops sorry that was last century, this century - Family Life for Women!!

No comments:

Post a Comment