UK Budget Assessments
WBG Response to Pre-Budget Report 2004
Date Posted: Friday 18th February 2005
• The WBG recommends that gender mainstreaming should be incorporated across Government, including through the use of gender budgeting.
• We recommend that organisations should be required to demonstrate their accountability, transparency, monitoring and action on equal employment, including equal pay, as part of the public procurement tendering process.
• We recommend that the Chancellor develops analysis and policy instruments to target the gender productivity gap.
• The WBG recommends that all Government schemes to develop skills and encourage employment incorporate a gender-sensitive approach, including promoting non-traditional fields of employment, and supporting part-time and flexible learning.
• The WBG recommends that schemes focused on women returners and lone parents be developed and extended to take account of their particular needs such as ‘soft-skills’ training and confidence building.
• The WBG urges the Government to include a gender analysis in any attempts to eliminate children’s poverty, and to create a target for eradicating women’s poverty.
• We recommend that paternity leave be provided independently from maternity leave and that both maternity and paternity leave be extended and paid at earnings-related levels.
• We recommend that measures be put in place to ensure that carers are not penalised in their future careers and pension prospects because of taking up rights related to their caring responsibilities
• We recommend that the Government set aside additional funds to the Transformation fund to adequately meet the needs that will accompany the enhancement of the childcare workforce.
• The childcare element of the Working Tax Credit (WTC) should be proportional to the number of children in the family, and its level increased faster than earnings to allow for the improving the pay of childcare workers.
• The WBG recommends that the Government recognises that carers of adults and of older children need support in achieving a work-life balance by introducing similar policies to those developed for parents of young children, including a right to request flexible working.
• The WBG recommends that all financial inclusion schemes incorporate a gender analysis that will reach out to all women, including women whose very low incomes don’t allow them to save.
• The WBG recommends that no more funds should be directed to the Child Trust Fund in future, and instead should be invested in early years provisions or child benefit.
• The WBG recommends that the current contributory state pension system be extended to account for women’s unpaid caring work through an increased Basic State Pension that is indexed to earnings, and more substantial caring credits.
• The Women’s Budget Group urges the Government to make sure that the potential and actual impacts on women of public sector efficiency measures do not negatively impact on women’s quality of life and careers in the sector.