Gender Analysis of the Cumulative Distributional Impact of 2022 Tax and Benefit Changes and Inflation

Date Posted: Wednesday 17th November 2021

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Women’s Budget Group calculations show that none of the changes announced in the 2021 Autumn Budget, including the rise in the minimum wage and changes to UC rules for those with earnings, are sufficient to compensate people on average for the loss of the uplift, the increase in National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and the rise in inflation.

The projected rise in inflation to 4% average in 2022/23 will deliver the biggest hit to household incomes.

Further, for households with someone in employment, the rise in the minimum wage is not sufficient to offset the effect of the rise in NICs, leading to lower disposable incomes even without the effects of inflation. For such households if they are on Universal Credit, on average, the change in UC rules to allow a greater proportion of earnings to be kept counteracts the loss of the UC uplift.

But for households without anyone in employment the change in UC rules does not affect them at all and therefore does not offset the loss of the UC uplift (they are unaffected by the rise in NICs and in the minimum wage too). These are generally the poorest households, whose members’ caring responsibilities, illnesses or disabilities are the reasons why they are not in employment. Women are more likely than men to be in these situations.