Shipley MP hits out over new equality targets

Read it on the Telegraph and Argus

By"Anika Bourley ยป

An MP has warned that Government equality targets are damaging community cohesion and creating resentment in communities.

Shipley MP Philip Davies says every position should be given to the best candidate, not one who fits the needed criteria to hit any quota.

Speaking last night in the debate on Equalities Bill, he said: "It builds up a resentment that otherwise would never exist. It builds up a resentment amongst other parts of the population that otherwise would not feel any resentment at all.

"And so rather than doing a great deal for race relations and to help equality for women, it actually does the exact reverse because people feel no longer that jobs are being given on merit."

Mr Davies wants all parts of the Bill which positively discriminates against people scrapped. He also warned the end of non-disclosure pay deals would lead to industrial unrest.

"There will be more fighting going on in employers around the country than we have ever seen in our time before. The number of days on strike will probably go up massively."

The Tory MP said the Bill was from a"fantasy world" and could have a"chilling effect" on employers.

He said that even the equalities watchdog was struggling to meet the aims of the Bill.

He said: "Even the Commission for Equality and Human Rights pay their male staff on average more than their female staff."

Mr Davies tabled more than 40 amendments to the Bill to highlight the"ludicracy" of some of the Government's proposals.

Minister for Women and Equality Harriet Harman has said the flagship Equality Bill would make the United Kingdom"fairer and more prosperous".

l Mr Davies has also spoken out about climate change.

He fears too much focus is being put on climate change and that a Conservative government would harm the economy if it took unilateral action to cut emissions.

Many Conservative backbenchers, including Mr Davies, have spoken out in opposition to their party's policy on the imminent Copenhagen climate change talks.

His party leader David Cameron said: "What we need to emerge from those discussions is an effective, binding and fair deal to cut carbon emissions that includes all major economies."

But Mr Davies said: "I would like to see some proper cost-benefit analysis at Copenhagen on the impact of the economy. Everyone has gone completely mad on this.

"It has taken on the hallmarks of a religion rather than a policy issue."