Women’s Budget Group supports the call for an Emergency Budget
Date Posted: Friday 1st April 2022
The Chancellor has wasted too much time. We need an Emergency Budget now.
As households brace for soaring energy prices, the Women’s Budget Group supports the TUC’s call for an Emergency Budget.
1 April 2022, Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson, director of the Women’s Budget Group, comments:
“It was clear in last week’s Spring Statement that the Government has failed to grasp the magnitude of the cost-of-living scandal. Too much time has been wasted. The Chancellor must return to Parliament with an Emergency Budget before people are needlessly forced into poverty.”
“Austerity showed us that it will be women who will feel the sharp end of this Government’s procrastination. They are the shock absorbers of poverty; managing household food budgets, skipping meals, and with less income and wealth. Yet there has been little from the Government that would be of significant relief to them.”
“In his Statement, the Chancellor spoke about support for ‘hard-working families’, but those families have long been experiencing a cost-of-living crisis in the form of childcare fees that have increased at twice the rate of wages for the last ten years. Despite this, there was nothing in the Spring Statement to help families with this essential bill for a service that enables them to go out and earn a decent living.”
“And for those unable to work, the situation is even more dire. The National Insurance threshold increase did little to help those people who are among the most vulnerable. We need realistic measures that will be of tangible help to people: financial relief for childcare, an increase to benefits that’s in line with inflation and a boost to wages. And it is energy and oil companies that should pay the price in the form of a windfall tax, not struggling households. If the Chancellor doesn’t act now, we’ll see unprecedented levels of hardship in this country, and it will have been a political choice.”
Note to editors
WBG compared the gendered impact of the NI threshold increase to a 7% benefit uprate and found that women, pensioners, single parents, and lower-income families would benefit more from an in-line-with-inflation increase in benefits, compared to the rise in the NI threshold. The cost for the public purse is similar: the additional increase in benefits would cost around £8.3bn this year, while the rise in National Insurance would reduce tax revenues by £9.1bn. The decision is therefore political, rather than motivated by budgetary considerations.
Download our note comparing the benefits of an increase in NI threshold to a 7% uprate to benefits here.
Download our briefing on The Gendered Impact of the Cost-of-Living Crisis here.
Find our full response to the Spring Statement here.
About the Women’s Budget Group
The Women’s Budget Group is an independent network of leading academic researchers, policy experts and campaigners. Our vision is of a caring economy that promotes equality between women and men.
For more information or further comment, contact Sarah Ronan, 07399782336, email@example.com