Scottish ministers accused of failing Gypsies

THE Scottish Executive was criticised by MSPs today for not doing enough to improve the quality of life for Gypsy travellers.

The Scottish Parliament's equal opportunities committee said there had only been patchy progress since it produced a damning report four years ago.

And it said extreme levels of "discrimination and vilification" against Gypsy travellers persisted across Scotland.

The committee reported in 2001 that Gypsy travellers in Scotland faced institutional racism and harassment and recommended they should be given ethnic minority status.
But in a new report today it concluded the Executive had made "insufficient progress" in responding to the issue. The committee found progress across the country had been "patchy and slow".

Committee convener Labour MSP Cathy Peattie said: "The evidence is clear and unequivocal: the progress made against our earlier recommendations is inadequate and inconsistent, and the pace of progress is far too slow."