AFS fails women who are just about managing

Nov 23, 2016 | News

Speaking in response to the Chancellor Philip Hammond’s first Autumn Financial Statement, Dr Eva Neitzert, Director of the Women’s Budget Group said:

Before the AFS we were promised action to help the ‘Just about managing’. While the increase in the minimum wage and reduction in the universal credit taper to 63p are welcome, they are a drop in the ocean compared to the cut in living standards of between 18 and 20% by 2020 that women and the poorest households are facing because of cuts to benefits, tax credits and services since 2010.

Increasing the personal tax allowance will do nothing to help those earning too little to pay income tax (65% of whom are women). Raising the 40p threshold will largely benefit men since 72% of higher rate tax payers are men. Together with the freeze in the fuel duty, these measures benefit men and the better off.

We know that tax cuts announced before today will cost £16billion by 2020. This money could be spent tackling the growing social care crisis. Cuts to social care hit women particularly hard as the majority of those needing care and the majority of those providing it, both paid and unpaid, are women.

The Chancellor identified Britain’s productivity gap as a major problem. What he fails to acknowledge is that productivity is dependent on the health and well-being of the population and a health and care system in crisis undermines this.

Austerity was presented by the Prime Minister today as about ‘living within your means’, in reality it is a political choice to cut services and benefits which women rely on while introducing tax cuts that will largely benefit men.

Notes

  1. The Women’s Budget Group and Runnymede Trust will be publishing its distributional impact assessment jointly with the Runnymede Trust on Friday 25th November
  2. For more information, contact Eva Neitzert on eva.neitzert@wbg.org.uk 07908 111344 or Mary-Ann Stephenson on 07957 338582. Twitter @WomensBudgetGrp
  3. Women’s Budget Group analysis of tax benefit changes from 2010 up to the financial statement show that in all income groups women are the hardest hit

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