Professor John Hills to chair National Equality Panel

Harriet Harman has announced the set up a new government Equality Panel, It will be chaired by leading academic Professor John Hills and will provide the Government with an authoritative analysis of inequality in Britain by the end of 2009.

Professor John Hills is Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion and Professor of Social Policy at the LSE. He recently served as a Commissioner on the Pensions Commission with Adair Turner. In February 2007, he also published an independent review, commissioned by the government, on the future of social housing.

The panel will gather and examine data over the last 10 years as well as the very latest available information and will also commission new research where necessary. Once it starts work in October, the Panel will also invite interested groups and organisations to submit evidence for its consideration.

Speaking at the TUC congress, Ms Harman said:

"We have made great progress on tackling inequality but we know that inequality doesn't just come from your gender, race, sexual orientation or disability. What overarches all of these is where you live, your family background, your wealth and social class.
"To advance equality through our public policy, we need clarity of evidence and focus on the gaps in society and how they have changed over the last ten years.
"The robust evidence base that the panel will produce will help us properly target measures to address persisting equality gaps and build on the good work that we have already done."

Professor John Hills said:

 "I am honoured to have been asked by Harriet Harman to take on this work, and delighted that such a distinguished group has agreed to join the panel. British society continues to be marked by great differences in the positions of different groups. However, the ways in which these are changing are complex. It will be the job of this independent panel to map these out on the basis of the most authoritative information we can compile, and to identify areas where challenges to policy remain."


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