UK Budget Assessments
WBG Response to the Budget 2002
Date Posted: Thursday 18th April 2002
• We welcome the introduction of a seamless payment for children and the decision to pay support for children directly to the main carer, mainly the mother. Money paid to women is more likely to be spent on children than money paid to men.
• We are pleased that some of the WBG’s concerns about incentives for second earners to enter employment have been taken on board and we encourage the Government to continue to lower barriers to women’s employment.
• We urge the Government to work towards a similarly seamless system of support for childcare costs so that the short-term unemployed and those seeking employment also benefit.
• Having made considerable progress in the support of childcare costs, more attention needs to be paid to the undersupply of childcare places. • We welcome the commitment to continue to pay for health care from general taxation. This will benefit women, most of whom lack the independent income to pay for care privately.
• The delivery of the Government’s ambitious plans for the NHS depends upon the improvement of the pay of the NHS workforce, the majority of whom are women. We call for ring-fenced funds to enable the NHS to remove gender pay inequality.
• The changes introduced to simplify the running and profitability of small businesses are welcome and we urge the Government to reduce the barriers faced by women in setting up small businesses.
• Opportunities for training remain closely tied to employment and we call again for the Government to extend these to women who wish to return to the labour market after a period of caring.
• We encourage the Government to reconsider its pensions policy in light of high rates of pensioner poverty, which has a disproportionate effect on women. The move towards more private pension provision is particularly worrying for women who are less likely to be able to save an adequate amount for old age.