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Treasury’s net savings come from women


Kate Green, budget, women, austerity, cuts, LabourListConservative’s tax rises hit women hardest, Kate Green warns.

By Sarah Pine.

The shadow Women and Equalities minister Kate Green has criticised the government for “turning back the clock” on women’s economic equality as she published new research showing women bear the brunt of Osborne’s austerity.

Some 86 per cent of the net savings made to the Treasury through tax and benefit measures since 2010 have come from women, according to analysis from the House of Commons Library.

This has worsened since George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, where 81 per cent of savings came from women.

Lower tax rates have disproportionately benefited men since they make up a significant majority of higher earners.

Green condemned the government for failing to carry out the urgent gender audit Labour proposed last year, saying they had failed to do the “responsible thing”.

“Yet again the government have exposed themselves as being strong on rhetoric but weak on action when it comes to equality and understanding the real, human impact of their policies.

“The government voted down Labour proposals in December to conduct an urgent cumulative gender impact assessment of their policies.”

“David Cameron and George Osborne could conduct this analysis if they wanted to make sure their policies are fair to women but they are choosing not to.

“We repeat our calls to the government to do the responsible thing and conduct an urgent cumulative gender impact assessment of their policies and to put in place a strategy to ensure that they are promoting rather than turning back the clock on women’s economic equality.”

The gender pay gap is £96 a week, or around 9.4 per cent of earnings, according to annual Office of National Statistics data published in November.

A version of this article appeared on the LabourList website on 29 March 2016.

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