UK Budget Assessments
WBG Response to the Pre-Budget Report 2002
Date Posted: Wednesday 27th November 2002
- The WBG commends the Chancellor’s commitment to public spending. Long term forecasts should allow for an increasing proportion of GDP to be devoted to spending on caring and other face-to-face services to provide quality services and decent wages for the women users and employees of the public services.
- The WBG recommends that the Government addresses the problem of the gender productivity gap in order to increase the rate of productivity growth and to close the productivity gap.
- The development of public sector procurement policies should include the duty to promote gender equality and make procurement conditional on the use of transparent and fair pay system.
- The WBG welcomes the initiative announced in the PBR to improve training opportunities but is concerned that such initiatives (including Enterprise Areas and Modern Apprenticeships) are available to and meet the needs of women.
- The WBG welcomes the concern for increasing employment opportunities but cautions that barriers to women’s employment need to be lowered if more women are to enter the labour market.
- The WBG believes that the National Minimum Wage is a more effective and less complex means of ‘making work pay’ than the working tax credit. The Low Pay Commission must raise the rate of the National Minimum Wage to ensure that it provides a living wage.
- The Government must address the problem of women’s poverty in later life by linking the basic state pension to earnings growth and consider age related additions. The Government should also legislate now to equalise annuity rates across the sexes.