The government is offering no solutions to tackle entrenched racial inequalities that have been laid bare in an audit published this week, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has said.
The Racial Disparity Audit found that the unemployment rate is double among minorities compared to white people and black men are nearly three times more likely to be arrested than white men.
Michael Nicholas, secretary of the FBU’s Black and Ethnic Minority Members (B&EMM) section, said: “This audit tells us what we already know; that people from ethnic minority backgrounds are marginalised and routinely discriminated against. This is hardly news to anyone of colour living in the UK today.
“Whilst we appreciate Theresa May’s support for the audit, we need to know what the government intends to do about this inequality. Nothing I have seen suggests there are any plans to act upon its findings. It’s a lot of pious waffle.
“It will escape no one’s attention that the government’s austerity agenda has exacerbated the inequalities we experience today. Take the fire and rescue service for instance, which has a disappointingly low proportion of serving ethnic minority firefighters. One of the first things this government did was to remove diversity targets. This, coupled with a lack of recruitment across the board as fire service budgets are squeezed, means we haven’t seen the progress we should have.”