UK Budget Assessments
WBG Response to HM Treasury’s Pre-Budget Report 2005
Date Posted: Saturday 18th February 2006
Key WBG Recommendations:
• The Government should incorporate a gender perspective within all policymaking, including the Budget, to ensure that policy is gender aware, furthers equality of opportunity and recognises equally the needs of both women and men.
• The WBG recommends that the Government promotes the use of gender budgeting in developing tools to plan and monitor spending and performance as part of its obligations under the public sector duty to promote gender equality.
• The WBG urges Government to take action and contribute resources to ensure that the gender pay gap in both the public and private sectors is closed. • More attention should be given to expenditure on services that are critical for the creation and maintenance of human capital. Investment in both physical and human capital should count as “investment“ for the Chancellor’s “golden rule”.
• We recommend that the Chancellor develop analysis and policy instruments to target the gender productivity gap.
• The WBG recommends that occupational segregation be challenged at every opportunity, including through the new pilot Learning Agreements. Moreover, traditionally ‘female’ jobs must be revalued through better pay and training opportunities.
• The WBG recommends strengthening the right to flexible working, for all employees, as a long term goal. This should include a right to return to fulltime work.
• The WBG recommends that anti-poverty strategies incorporate a gender-sensitive approach.
• The share of national income going to children should not be allowed to fall. Child benefit and all child-related payments should be increased in line with earnings.
• The value of the Basic State Pension should be increased and indexed to earnings at a level that ensures that a combination of paid and unpaid work throughout a working life would bring a retirement income above the poverty line.
• The WBG recommends that all public sector consultation processes take account of the different needs, priorities, and barriers that women face. Any contracted-out services should also require a gender-sensitive consultation process with private providers.