#MayMonitor – WBG launches new campaign

Sep 13, 2016 | News

Theresa May became Prime Minister promising ‘a country that works for everyone’. She committed to fight the ‘burning injustice of inequality’, to support those who are ‘just managing’ but find life hard and to prioritise ‘ordinary working class families’ over the wealthy few.

As Parliament returns from the summer recess the Women’s Budget Group launches the #MayMonitor – an on-going project to track the actions of May’s Government and highlight whether they will help meet these promises.

The Women’s Budget Group will be monitoring Government progress on four of Theresa May’s promises using the following scorecard:

4-promises_launch

Dr Eva Neitzert, Director of the Women’s Budget Group said today:

We welcome Theresa May’s commitment to fight the ‘burning injustice’ of inequality and to build a country and an economy that works for everyone. The Inequality Audit announced by Theresa May in August does suggest a different attitude to equality to that of the previous administration, which often attacked action to monitor inequality or to assess the equality outcomes of policy as ‘red tape’.

We hope that Theresa May will show a similar willingness to make the changes to fiscal policy that will be needed if she is to deliver on her promises. The Women’s Budget Group impact assessment of austerity policies since 2010 has shown that the living standards of the poorest 10% of the population will see a 21% fall by 2020 relative to the baseline of policies in place up to 2010. This is more than five times as much as the relative decline in living standards for the richest 10%. Women are hit harder than men. Women are hit harder than men. The hardest hit households, headed by lone parents and single female pensioners will be around 20% worse off on average in 2020. It is difficult to see how the Government will meet its commitment to tackle the inequalities highlighted in May’s speech if it continues with these austerity policies.

Theresa May has said ‘when it comes to taxes we will prioritise not the wealthy but you’. Again this would mean a change in approach since 2010 where cuts to benefits and services which have hit the poorest and women hardest have been introduced alongside tax cuts which have largely benefited the richest, the majority of whom are men. As the Women’s Budget Group has shown, the total cost of all changes to income tax thresholds alone since the 2010 budget is estimated to be around £20.5bn per annum by 2020/21. At the same time there have been cuts to welfare benefits totalling £12bn in this parliament.

To read the full statement setting out the challenges facing Theresa May’s government, go to our dedicated #MayMonitor page.

Join the campaign by tweeting @WomensBudgetGrp #MayMonitor with your assessments.