Monday, August 07, 2006
Paying For Diversity
As we keep saying, the public sector is a very bad shopper that gets us taxpayers a never-ending string of bad deals from its chosen suppliers. Now they want to implement a new policy that will ensure the deals get even worse:
"The Ethnic Minority Employment Taskforce, set up three years ago to tackle unemployment among black and Asian people, approved the Government’s first moves to question firms seeking to win government contracts about the ethnic make-up of their workforce.
Minutes from the meeting conclude that the scheme will only work properly if it is enforced across all government departments. “If we are to make a significant impact on ethnic minority employment rates and earnings, we would need a government-wide application of policies to promote equality in suppliers’ workforces and a mechanism to support and enforce it.”
So suppliers will no longer be able to select their workforce on merit. Even if they are fully in compliance with existing race discrimination laws- as all big firms are- they will have to go further to get government contracts.
We've already seen the damage such diversity targets have inflicted on the government's own operations. Diversity has taken precedence over quality, and has directly contributed to the emergence of third world style corruption at the Immigration and Nationality Directorate.
We doubt that commercial firms would tolerate that kind of shambles, but they've just been given another set of expensive boxes to tick. And we'll have to pay for it.
PS If, as the government still reckons, immigration is so good for our economy, how come its own Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force- including Trev and half a dozen ministers- says "Ethnic minorities are less likely to find and sustain employment than their white counterparts – and this disadvantage has persisted for more than a decade. This waste of employment potential has both economic and social costs, contributing to social exclusion and damaging community cohesion." Clearly that's true, and we are where we are. But why do our political establishment still pretend immigration is such a good economic deal? (See this blog for real picture).
Posted by Mike D at 8:47 am