Jane Hutt MS, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip
Today I am launching a six week consultation into the future shape and remit of the Welsh Government’s Equality and Inclusion Funding Programme.
Equality and Human Rights have always been central to the work of the Welsh Government and our vision for a more equal Wales; a country which ensures equity of access to services, tackling inequality and seeking fairer equality of outcomes for all our citizens, now and for future generations.
We must continue to support those who remain at greatest risk of discrimination and unfair treatment. These include disabled people; Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities; Gypsies, Roma and Travellers; refugees and asylum seekers; and LGBT+ people; as well as those who are socio-economically disadvantaged.
Our Equality and Inclusion Fund, which currently has an annual budget of £1.6million, has long been at the heart of our work in this area, providing support for and through representative organisations with expertise in aspects of equality and inclusion. At the same time, we have supported distinct service provision for some key groups. We intend to continue doing so, but it is not enough to stand still.
We must periodically examine whether or not this approach is working and whether or not we need to do things differently. I am especially keen to explore options for greater collaboration between representative equality organisations in Wales, to provide the greatest benefit to everyone who is disadvantaged or experiences discrimination, and show that equality is for all.
We have increasingly recognised that different aspects of inequality, such as racism, and poverty, can combine to produce even worse outcomes for some people and communities. These intersectional impacts are of great concern and
it is vital that we use all available resources to tackle the issues in conjunction, to make the greatest overall impact and achieve the best possible outcomes.
We need our equality organisations, individuals and communities, to tell us what needs to change. These issues affect us all, so please let us know your views on how this funding can best be used in future. We welcome responses in multiple formats.
Consultation documents versions include Welsh, Easy Read and British Sign Language.
Alternative formats can also be made available on request.
I encourage all those with an interest in promoting equality and human rights in Wales to consider the proposals here carefully and respond to this consultation.