Select Committee on Northern Ireland Affairs Fourth Report


18. Two other government policies adopted after the 1989 legislation was enacted are particularly relevant for this inquiry. In 1991, the then Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Peter Brooke MP, launched Targeting Social Need (TSN). The former Government's intention in developing TSN was "to examine carefully the impact of existing major policies and programmes ... to pursue the scope for targeting these policies and programmes even more sharply on areas and people in greatest need."[33] The Secretary of State announced TSN as a third public spending priority after "law and order" and "strengthening the economy".

19. In a separate development, in December 1993, Government guidelines were finalised which required Northern Ireland government departments to take equality issues more centrally into account in policy-making generally. The non-statutory guidelines, called Policy Appraisal and Fair Treatment (PAFT), came into effect in January 1994. "Equality and equity," it said, "are central issues which must condition and influence policy- making in all spheres and at all levels of Government activity ..."[34]

33  See Employment Equality: Building for the Future (the SACHR report referred to in paragraph 20) Cm 3684, para 4.2. Back

34  Central Secretariat Circular, 5/93, Policy Appraisal and Fair Treatment, December 22 1993. Back

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Prepared 29 July 1999