Andrew Sparrow's rolling coverage of all the day's political developments as they happen, including David Cameron and Ed Miliband speaking at the CBI conference...
Now that we've established that David Cameron was not abolishing equality impact assessments this morning, but just reminding civil servants that they have already been abolished, it's time to quote what Ceri Goddard, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, is saying about the speech.
"The government’s decision to ‘call time’ on equality impact assessments, in favour of allowing ‘smart people in Whitehall’ to decide if they are needed is staggering both for its paternalism and the implication that the judgment of a cabinet of whom only 4 out of 23 ministers are women doesn’t need a further check and balance when it comes to women’s equality.
Successive governments have failed to properly consider the way in which particular policies impact on different groups within society; equality impact assessments – while far from perfect – have started to challenge “one size fits all” accountable policy making.
Pitching equality against growth in this way is also hugely irresponsible in times of recession - as well as also flatly contradicting the government’s own stated policy that more not less equality between women and men is key to economic growth.
The plain fact is that without this important step, particularly at a time when policy is being made at breakneck speed and in an age of record public spending cuts women will continue to be an afterthought."