Since 2010 women – old, young, rich, poor – have received blow after blow to their economic independence and social well being. Recent government policy indicates this will continue.
In its analysis of the Autumn Financial Statement the Women’s Budget Group found that women will pay for 81 per cent, just over a billion pounds, of the money raised by the Treasury in 2014/15. Cumulatively, women have paid over three-quarters of the cost to household income from net direct tax, benefit, pay and pension changes introduced by the Coalition since 2010.
The Women’s Budget Group (WBG) is an independent organisation of academics, economists, public policy experts and other professionals, who conduct gender equality assessments of the British government’s annual Budgets and Pre-Budget Spending Reviews. They argue that:
Gender budget initiatives go beyond the assessment of programmes targeted specifically at women and girls, and seek to expose assumptions of ‘gender neutrality’ within all economic policy – raising awareness and understanding that budgets will impact differently on women and men because of the different social and economic positioning.