Women and austerity in the UK

Date Posted: Wednesday 16th November 2016

Women and those on low incomes have already borne the brunt of the first wave of austerity under the Coalition government



Women and those on low incomes have already borne the brunt of the first wave of austerity under the Coalition government.

You can find the Women’s Budget Group Gender Impact Assessment of the 2017 Spring Budget here.

Database on austerity, equality and human rights

The Centre for Human Rights in Practice at the University of Warwick School of Law has produced a database of resources for organisations, groups and individuals concerned with the human rights and/or equality impact of public spending cuts in the UK. The database includes links to analysis of the impact of austerity on different groups, including women as well as resources for groups wishing to carry out their own impact assessment of spending cuts.

Access the database here

Reports and briefings on the impact of austerity on women

Prof. Prem Sikka, The Conversation, March 2015: This election, remember that cracking down on tax avoidance could end austerity

Social Policy in a Cold Climate Research Programme, Jan 2015: The Coalition’s Social Policy Record: Policy, Spending and Outcomes, 2010-2015

UNISON report, June 2014: Counting the Cost: How cuts are shirnking women’s lives

TUC report, Feb 2014: Age Immaterial: Women Over 50 in the Workplace

Gingerbread, Dec 2013: Paying the Price – single parents in the age of austerity

The Money Advice Service, Nov 2013: Indebted lives: the complexities of life in debt

Layers of Inequality: A Human Rights and Equality Impact Assessment of the Public Spending Cuts on Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Women in Coventry, by Kalwinder Sandhu, Mary-Ann Stephenson and James Harrison. (A joint report of Coventry Women’s Voices, Coventry Ethnic Minority Action Partnership, Foleshill Women’s Training and the Centre for Human Rights in Practice, School of Law, University of Warwick.) (2013)

Estimating the costs of tax and benefit changes by gender, House of Commons Library Standard Note (19 November 2013)

Findings and Recommendations from Interim Case Study: the impact of austerity measures upon women in the North East of England, by Sue Robson and June Robinson, (North East Women’s Network, Women’s Resource Centre) (October 2012)

TUC Women and the Cuts toolkit: how to carry out a human rights and equality impact assessment of the spending cuts on women, by Mary-Ann Stephenson (Coventry Women’s Voices) (2011)

Cutting Women Out in Bristol: Impact Assessment of the Public Spending Cuts on Women in Bristol, by Anna Mapson for Bristol Fawcett (2011)

IFS Report on Gender Impact of Coalition government tax and benefit changes – June 2011:

With support and advice from the WBG, the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the Fawcett Society released an analysis of the impact of the UK Government’s tax and benefit reforms by sex.

This is the first piece of research of its kind to be carried out. It provides an example of simple but meaningful analysis that the UK Government should be carrying out – but currently does not – in order to fulfil its legal duty to pay ‘due regard’ to the impact of its policies on equality between women and men.

You can read the IFS’s full report on their website, as well as the Fawcett Society’s digest of the research: Single Mothers, Singled Out.