Budget will make ethnic minorities ‘worse off’ and inequality will increase as a result of welfare reforms, Runneymede Trust find

28 July 2015

According to a report by the British think tank the Runnymede Trust, black and minority ethnic people will be one of the most affected groups to be hit by the new Conservative budget. The study found that around four million minority ethnic people could be left poorer at a much faster rate than white people, widening the racial divide in Britain. British Muslims are among those to be hit hardest.

Omar Khan, director of the trust and author of the report revealed that minority groups were around twice as likely to lose out from the Conservative budget.“While ethnic minorities form around 11 percent of households and 14 percent of the UK population, we expect them to be over 15 percent of households and around 25 percent of individuals worst affected by the budget,” he said.

The report predicts that child poverty among these groups will rise after the 2015 budget as welfare cuts are continually pushed, and that racial inequality will increase as tax credits, limits on child benefit and lowering the benefits cap strip these communities of their income growth in comparison to their white counterparts.

The Trust has requested that the government carry out a formal audit of the effect the budget will have on racial equality – this will be called an equalities impact assessment. The Guardian notes that the Treasury did not respond when asked if it had carried out an equalities assessment of the 2015 budget.

The Treasury claim to be fully committed in considering the “equality impacts on different protected groups”.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “This Budget set out a new contract with Britain, moving from a low wage, high tax, high welfare economy to a lower welfare, lower tax and higher wage economy. These changes mean that work will always pay more than a life on benefits, and the vast majority of working households will be better off once the changes have come into force in 2017. And all families are better off when you live in a country with the economic security that comes from living within its means.”

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