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UK government cuts falling disproportionately on mothers


Summary of story from the Guardian, July 30, 2011

Steve Hilton, the director of strategy to the UK prime minister, is known for thinking the unthinkable – such as his recent idea of abolishing maternity leave (see WVoN story).

Yet maybe his plan was not entirely alien to the government, because despite lots of talk about being ‘family-friendly’, the Conservatives seem to have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to motherhood.

Yvette Cooper, shadow home secretary and minister for women said: “It is hard to imagine anyone who has any idea about working mothers or their importance to the British economy proposing the abolition of maternity leave – unless, of course, they think mothers shouldn’t work at all.”

Lynne Featherstone (pictured), a Liberal Democrat (and single mother of two children) who is also equalities minister warned government departments and local authorities recently they could be in breach of equality law, if they do not examine the potential for cuts to fall disproportionately on women.

And a year on from the coalition government’s first budget, research from the equality organisation, the Fawcett Society, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows single mothers can expect to lose 8.5% of their net annual income by 2015.

  1. BarryMayor says:

    How could the current disparity between the statutorially guaranteed parental leave of fathers not be a breach of the equality law? If it’s not, the term equality in the law is clearly a misnomer.

  2. Looks as if there is a good case demonstrating this is against the law so we should all be supporting that. The govt has no compassion but has to be bound by the law.

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