Sinn Féin to table Equality Status Bill during private members’ time
Sinn Féin Justice and Equality spokesperson Padraig Mac Lochlainn has announced that his party will be tabling the Equal Status (Amendment) Bill 2013 during its private members time on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
Deputy Mac Lochlainn will launch the bill tomorrow at 2pm in the Boardroom in Buswells Hotel.
Speaking today in advance of the launch he said;
“Sinn Féin is seeking to add six new anti-discriminatory categories to the existing legislation. These are trade union membership, socio-economic background, Irish language speakers, rural dwellers and former political prisoners, both those who were released under the Good Friday Agreement and those who served time and were released before the agreement.
“Our bill seeks to introduce mandatory equality impact assessments on public bodies introducing measures that impact on these categories as well as the existing nine categories of gender, civil status, family status, age, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and membership of the traveller community.
“The bill, if passed into law, would ensure equality proofing of annual budgets to assess the impact on all of these categories of people.
“Over recent years vulnerable and disadvantaged sections of our society have suffered most from austerity and cutbacks. Political promises to protect them have been broken time and again. Sinn Féin believes that it is now essential to bring in robust laws that protects them and that ensures genuine equality.”