8. What assessment she has made of the effect of proposed changes to the funding of the Equality and Human Rights Commission on the work of that commission. (905991)
The Equality and Human Rights Commission performs a very important and valuable role, and its appointed chair, David Isaac, and the board are well equipped for this task. The commission receives, and will continue to receive, sufficient funds to enable it to fulfil its full range of statutory duties.
Will the Minister scotch the rumours that swingeing cuts to the EHRC budget are on their way—69% down on 2010, apparently? In this climate of post-Brexit racism and employment tribunal fee charges, it is needed more than ever, yet it is operating on less than the old Disability Rights Commission, which area comprises only one part of its multiple good works.
I am happy to scotch some of these rumours. When the EHRC was established in 2007, it was done without a full understanding of what it would need from a budgetary point of view and what it would cost. Nearly 10 years later, we have a much better understanding of its running and efficiency costs, and of course it saw a reduction in function in 2013. It has had to make significant savings, but at each stage, it has done so only after huge discussion with our Ministry, and it does not dispute that it will continue to be able to fulfil its statutory functions to the highest possible standard.