On the about page of the "challenge" it says:
Good regulation is a good thing. It protects consumers, employees and the environment, it helps build a more fair society and can even save lives. But over the years, regulations – and the inspections and bureaucracy that go with them – have piled up and up. This has hurt business, doing real damage to our economy.
Yes. It's rules that ruined the economy, not this government's friends the bankers. Oh no. Not at all.
The ConDems - you know, the ones that want us off benefits and working - are consulting on whether or not to scrap the Equality Act 2010 as part of the "challenge"; the act that's vital to disabled people securing work.
Unsurprisingly the consultation has brought out the inner Daily Mail reader in most of the respondents so far. These people seem to think that the act is all about "positive discrimination" and don't seem to understand that the act protects men as well as women, straight people as well as gay people, and white people as well as non-white people. But I suppose that's the kind of misunderstanding people would get from reading right-wing rags.
There have been a few people standing up for equality, but sadly not nearly enough. Not that consultation really makes much of a difference, the government will still do exactly what they want just like with DLA reform, but I think us pro-equality, anti-discrimination types need to make our voices heard.
It is truly farcical that they think more disabled people will suddenly find jobs without anti-discrimination laws. Already the employment rates of disabled people are around 48%, compared with around 78% of non-disabled people (sure, some of that's to do with illness and inability to work, but discrimination in the job market is also a massive factor). The gap in the rate of employment between disabled and non-disabled people has shrunk since 2002 when it was 36% to the rate of around 29% in 2010. You can be sure that that's a direct result of the DDA getting stronger. (Stats from the ODI.)
Consulting on binning the Equality Act isn't the only thing being consulted on that may affect us. Every few weeks they're looking at a different sector and considering the regulations specific to that area. Currently they're consulting on the retail sector. From 23rd June to 6th July they're consulting on regulations around social care; when you can be sure that the rules that protect us from abusive carers and so forth (at least the ones that have been previously caught) will be threatened with those red tape snipping scissors.