WBG respond to Rishi Sunak’s economic statement

Date Posted: Thursday 22nd October 2020

Speaking in response to Rishi Sunak’s economic statement today, WBG Director, Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson said:

“We welcome the decision to cut employer contributions in the new job support scheme from 33% to 5%. The scheme announced in September was poorly designed and was unlikely to have protected many jobs.  

It is clear that we are in a second wave and facing increasingly severe local lockdowns. Many workers in hospitality in tier three areas will struggle to survive on two thirds of their previous wages since many were already low paid. And local lockdowns don’t just impact on sectors like hospitality that are ordered to close, they have a knock on impact in other sectors that can legally remain open but struggle with lack of custom.  

Unfortunately the Chancellor did nothing for those who will lose their jobs, or have already been made redundant. The Government needs to commit to maintain the uplift in Universal Credit and extend it to legacy benefits. It should increase child benefit and the level of local housing allowance to cover average rents.

We know now that 54% of working class women in paid work were furloughed during the first lock down – the largest number of any group. It is these women whose jobs are most at risk in the second wave.”


UK Women’s Budget Group
Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson: Director,  maryann.stephenson@wbg.org.uk, 07957 338582
Thaira Mhearban: Communications Officer,  thaira.mhearban@wbg.org.uk, 077366 58951