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Government misses court deadline; Osborne may need to rethink £100bn cuts

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The government has missed a high court deadline in a case which may force it to reconsider £100bn worth of budget cuts.

Last month, the Fawcett Society commenced legal proceedings for judicial review of the government's failure to conduct a proper equality impact assessment of spending cuts and tax increases on women, the disabled and ethnic minority people -- which all departments are legally required to do before making major policy decisions.

According to the Guardian, Treasury ministers had until 28 August to present the first summary of their defence, but asked for an extension.

Ceri Goddard, the chief executive of the society, told the paper: "It's been more than a month since we lodged papers seeking a judicial review. We've yet to hear anything back from the Treasury except that they've filed for an extension.

"But in the media, the government seems to be saying they didn't do a gender equality impact assessment. Either they did or they didn't -- what's the delay?

"While we welcome their confirmation they will comply with their legal duty, we're concerned they haven't shared how they will do this or committed to publishing their findings."

The Equality and Human Rights Commission says it is monitoring the Fawcett Society's legal bid closely and weighing up whether to exercise its statutory power to also take legal action against the government.

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