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London MEP latest to oppose EU gender equality law

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Marina Yannakoudakis, a conservative Member of the European Parliament, has opposed the European Court of Justice (ECJ) decision to make it illegal to use gender as a factor in the price of insurance.

Ms Yannakoudakis said that a report by the European Parliament’s Women’s Rights Committee in response to the ruling did not go far enough in questioning the decision, and addressed the “social consequences of the decision rather than making any rational recommendations”.

Yannakoudakis, the spokesman on women’s rights, said that gender based statistics were valid in underwriting insurance.

Women statistically represent a lower risk than men. As the price of premiums is calculated on the basis of risk, insurers should be allowed to take this into account,” she said.

The report fails to question the validity of the ECJ’s ruling. It focuses on how to deal with the ‘social consequences’ of the decision rather than making any rational recommendations. We need a common-sense interpretation of EU rules on equality or we need to revise them.

Yannakoudakis finished by saying she would be submitting amendments to the report to “ensure that women don’t pay the price for equality with higher insurance premiums.”

Yannakoudakis is by no means the first politician to oppose the ruling. Earlier this year, David Cameron also expressed his disapproval of the ECJ ruling. When asked about the issue, Mr Cameron remarked, “that shows that some of the loony left is still alive and well in our country… Frankly, insurance premiums ought to reflect risk”

Last week the HM Treasury also expressed it’s disdain of the law, saying it was “disappointed” with the ruling and that it would increase the prices of insurance for “vulnerable groups who can least afford it, such as the elderly.”