Ethnic minority Britons will be disproportionately affected by Conservative cuts

Minority Britons can expect to see a widening racial gap in the British economy


When George Osborne presented the Conservative Budget to parliament a few weeks ago it received a critical review from many corners of civil society. But what has received less coverage is the fact that some are going so far as to call it outright racist.

A recent report put together by Omar Khan, director of racial equality think-tank The Runnymede Trust, has built a compelling case suggesting this new budget will disproportionately hurt Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) communities.

Through a system of tax credit and welfare reforms, it seems that minority Britons can expect to see a widening of the already significant racial gap in the British economy.

So how will the budget hurt BME groups?

Here are just a couple of reforms that will be sure to increase burdens on BME populations and benefit the white population.

An increase in the inheritance tax threshold

With Osborne’s new budget, the inheritance tax will no longer take effect until assets reach up to £1 million. Right now, the average White British household holds around £221,000 while Black African households hold only £21,000, and Bangladeshi households hold £15,000.

Because of this already stark gap, very few BME families can hope to receive any benefit from this provision. To be fair, most White households will not benefit from this either, but it’s much, much more likely than for BME households.

Child Tax Credit reform

Did your family decide to have more than two kids? If so, you’ve surpassed the new limit, and you can expect to see a cut to your income via an amended tax credit system. This has a hugely disproportionate impact on Black and Asian families, 24 per cent of which have more than two children, whereas only 8 per cent of White families have more than two children.

Khan points out:

While ethnic minorities form around 11 per cent of households and 14 per cent of the UK population, we expect them to be over 15 per cent of households and around 25 per cent of individuals worst affected by the budget – because of their younger age, higher child poverty, lower wages, fewer pensioners and greater part-time working.”

Individuals and families with a Bangladeshi background can expect to be affected most negatively by the new budget. The study finds that about half of the Bangladeshi population,which totals about 225,000 people, will lose out by about £1,000.

Was this an oversight on the part of CCHQ and senior figures in the Conservative Party who put together and approved this new budget?

It’s hard to say for sure. But a spokesperson for the Treasury claimed: “HMT has fully considered equality impacts on different protected groups”. If this is true, then Osborne needs to hire better policy researchers.

Varinder Singh is a councillor in the London Borough of Redbridge and works for an MP

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17 Responses to “Ethnic minority Britons will be disproportionately affected by Conservative cuts”

  1. English_Woman

    Can’t afford more than 2 kids, then don’t have them.

  2. Samuel Hooper

    I’m sorry, but what complete and utter hogwash. Something isn’t “racist” just because it doesn’t have affirmative action baked into it. Singh should be ashamed for devaluing the meaning of racism in this way.

    Here’s my fuller response to Varinder Singh:

    We don’t advance the cause of tackling real racism by throwing the word around as an insult against our political opponents.

  3. Samuel Hooper

    Very well said. It’s not the job of the taxpayer to subsidise large families.

  4. steroflex

    I could not agree more.
    I would also like to mention the effect on family life which Islam has. A man with several wives is not going to encourage all his children (especially the girls?) as much as someone who has just one family to provide for. And the sheer spirituality of the religion cuts against a lot of Western assumptions too.

  5. Dave Stewart

    The point of child tax credits are that it is not the child’s fault it was born to a poor family and every child even those born into a family which is poor does not deserve to live in poverty. Child tax credits were put in place to level the playing field at bit for the CHILDREN who happen to be born in to poverty. Likewise it is not a child’s fault that they happen to have been born into a family which already has two children.

    I know it’s easy to say well don’t have more (or any if you extend the argument) children to the parents but that doesn’t change the fact that it is the child that ends up disadvantaged through no fault of it’s own.

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