“A blizzard of extra bureaucracy” is how a Conservative MP has described the money-wasting implementation of the controversial Equality Act 2010.
Under the Act, the Department of Energy and Climate Change examined whether homosexuals in civil partnerships had been unfairly treated by the suspension of a £300 million home insulation scheme.
The Department of Transport issued a study into harassment and discrimination on ships and hovercraft of various groups, including transsexuals.
And the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) investigated the impact boosting fish stocks would have on, among others, the Chinese and Welsh speakers.
Philip Davies, MP for Shipley, has said that the equality laws are “ludicrous and pointless” and Dominic Raab, MP for Esher and Walton, has described them as “divisive”.
Their remarks come as the Government has admitted that the overall cost of implementing the legislation over the next year will be £100 million.
And it has indicated that the cost to the public sector alone will be £30 million.
Mr Davies has described the legislation as “politically correct drivel” that “makes the public’s blood boil”.
Mr Raab remarked: “The Coalition should scale back the Equality Act. The last thing hard pressed public bodies need is this blizzard of extra bureaucracy – wasting their time and millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money.
“It’s not just political correctness”, the MP went on. “It’s also bitterly divisive to carve up our society into artificial social categories.”
The new legislation, which came into force three months ago, imposes the equality agenda in many areas of working life, both in the public and private sectors.
Under the Act, expensive equality assessments are required to be carried out in the workplace.
The Equality Act also consolidates previous legislation, including the controversial Sexual Orientation Regulations 2007.
The Regulations have been used to target faith-based adoption agencies and Christian-run B&Bs.