Media round-up: June 2018

Date Posted: Saturday 30th June 2018

Who's been talking about our work this month?

BrexitGender BudgetingTaxation
June was a busy month for the WBG, as we launched our report on Universal Credit and Financial Abuse, and took part in a panel discussion organised by the APPG on Responsible Taxation, on ‘why tax matters for equality between men and women’. You can read our 2017 pre-budget briefing on Tax here. A round up of the the press coverage we received over the course of the month is included below:

A people’s vote will fight a Brexit turning back the clock on women’s right
Left Food Forward, 5 June 2018

An independent study on the impact of Brexit on women, published by the Fawcett Society and the Women’s Budget Group a couple of months ago, made clear how much women stand to lose if we leave the European Union.”

Decentralise spending to boost gender equality, says expert
Public Finance International, 6 June 2018

“Civil society groups, such as UK’s Women’s Budget Group, also sometimes perform an impact assessment after a budget is published to demonstrate the impact on men and women.”

We can’t let women’s rights and welfare become collateral damage after Brexit
The New Statesman, 8 June 2018

“Women make up 77 per cent of workers in [the health and social care] sector, and 62,000 of those women are from the EEA, leaving them with an uncertain future post Brexit. One could argue that the decrease in staff could lead to more economic opportunities for women from the UK in this female-centric industry. However, the Women’s Budget group suggest that “while this may lead to increased employment opportunities for UK women these may be short-lived if the projected negative impact of Brexit on the economy leads to reduced spending on public services.”

Further, the Women’s Budget Group suggests that “gendered employment effects of new trading arrangements are likely, in which women gain less than men do”. The impact on women workers’ economic equality needs to be discussed far more than it has been so far.”

Countries ‘must stop tax avoidance to tackle gender inequality’
Public Finance International, 14 Jun 18

“Women are “hit the hardest” by unfair tax policies, as they tend to use public services more, according to evidence given to the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Responsible Tax and Women’s Budget Group UK on Tuesday.

The failure of governments to address the impact that their tax systems have on women is creating an “irresponsible tax system”, Sue Himmelweit, economist at Women’s Budget Group said. 

She added: “Tax havens undermine the ability of all poor countries to raise revenue and so a lot of poor countries are not even providing the basic [public] services that matter to them.

“But so equally is the level of corporate tax and feeding into the race to the bottom is equally a problem,” Himmelweit said.”

UK tax system ‘making gender inequality worse’
Public Finance International, 14 Jun 18

“Women tend to be harder hit when less revenue is raised through tax as there is less money for public services, which are generally used more by women than men, members of the All-Parliamentary Group on Responsible Tax and Women’s Budget Group said on Tuesday.

Tax cuts tend to benefit men more than women, panel members at the seminar on tax and equality in London explained.

Sue Himmelweit, economist at Women’s Budget Group, said: “To keep raising the income tax threshold at the same time as cutting benefits is irresponsible taxation, in equality terms.

“Chancellors always act like tax cuts are a gift to society, but if we look at the types of tax cuts – fuel tax, alcohol tax, and income taxes for example – these are tax cuts that predominantly benefit men,” she added.”

Eight ways the Universal Credit roll-out has been a disaster
Left Foot Forward, 15 June 2018

“A report by the Women’s Budget Group and the Runnymede Trust showed a cut to the work allowance under UC (the rate at which benefits are reduced when people on UC gain work), and the ‘two-child limit’ means women will face the worst of the cuts.”

Universal Credit could put domestic violence victims ‘at further risk’
Local Gov, 19 June 2018

Universal Credit and Financial Abuse: Exploring the links, published by the Women’s Budget Group, Surviving Economic Abuse and the End Violence Against Women Coalition, says separate payments can provide a lifeline to survivors of domestic abuse.

The report calls on the Government to explore different methods of making default single payments for the remaining roll out of Universal Credit and ensure non-means tested benefits remain payable outside of Universal Credit.”

With Universal Credit, the government is facilitating domestic abuse
The New Statesman, 19 June 2018

“How would it feel to discover the government was facilitating your abuser all along?

That’s the accusation made by the Women’s Budget GroupSurviving Economic Abuse and End Violence Against Women (EVAW) Coalition in a report published today. The report explores the impact of Universal Credit on victims and survivors of financial abuse in intimate relationships.”

The End Violence Against Women Coalition, Women’s Budget Group & Surviving Economic Abuse have published a joint report on Universal Credit and Financial Abuse
Politics Home, 19 June 2018

Universal credit report mentioned in end of day roundup.

Women’s Budget Group report: Universal Credit and Financial Abuse – Exploring the Links
The Equality & Diversity Forum, 19 June 2018

“Combining payments may send money straight to wallet and not to purse, undermining women’s economic independence and their ability to leave abusive relationships.”

This is according to Mary-Ann Stephenson, Director of the Women’s Budget Group in relation to the June 2018 report on Universal Credit and financial abuse.

The report claims that Universal Credit (UC) single payment to households may exacerbate domestic violence by concentrating resources and power in the hands of an abusive partner.”

Esther McVey, we urge you to halt Universal Credit – it could be devastating for abused women
I News, 21 June 2018

“This week, the Women’s Budget Group, Surviving Economic Abuse and the End Violence Against Women Coalition published a new report which details the extremely real risk that putting this new, combined benefit into one person’s bank account will have on women in abusive and controlling relationships.”

Transforming Equality
The IPPR Blog, 21 June 2018

“It has been left to civil society to carry out the analysis that the Government should be undertaking. The Women’s Budget Group has been analysing the gender impact of successive budgets since 1989. Since 2016 we have worked with the Runnymede Trust to carry out a comprehensive analysis by gender, race and income, including analysis of cumulative impact of changes to tax, benefits and spending on services from 2010, projected to 2020. These have provided important evidence of the equality impact of policy, and have shown that such assessments are possible, but have not been enough by themselves to change policy.”