The Politics Show has had a sneak preview of a new report into inequality commissioned by Tony Blair. On Wednesday, the Equalities Review will give its verdict this week on how race, gender, age and a number of other factors affect our lives.
The head of the review, Trevor Philips, told Jon Sopel that the costs of inequality were borne by the whole country:
"The fact that women are not employed at the same rate as men costs us in excess of £20bn. Disabled people don't have the same employment rates: another £9bn.
"The question of the fact that we will all, to some extent, be part of some so-called minorities: we'll all become old, we hope, at some point; we may not change our race but we may have a mixed race child.
"All of these issues are issues for the whole country".
Asked about recent measures to tackle gun crime, Mr Phillips denied that longer sentences for gun crime might exacerbate the disproportionate number of ethnic minority prisoners.
"It might have the result you outline, but let's just go back to the point here.
"What we need to do is to stop people being shot, and ending up dead in gutters at the age of 14 or 15. Who are the people to whom that is happening? Way, way disproportionately black people.
"I think you will find that amongst the black community in this country there is more keeness for tough and active measures than amongst anybody else, because they are the victims."
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The Politics Show Sunday 04 March 2007 at 12.00pm on BBC One.
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