Women on the Verge

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.

Read the rest of this article over at the New Statesman.

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.

to read the latest WBG analysis of the Autumn Spending Review 2012 or visit the group’s website to read their gender assessment of welfare benefit changes and the effect of government policy on single female pensioners.

Why so quiet…

It has been a while since I’ve blogged anything, mainly because I’ve been working to eat and pay the rent, but for more exciting reasons too. I’ve been writing up a different kind of article with my friend, the talented photographer Christina Theisen. Our joint effort looking at environmental projects in London will published by Lonely Coot very soon…right now it’s being edited.

I’ve also been working on a long-form article for the Dominion of New York on the disproportionate use of stop and search on black people living in London. In light of the Guardian’s recent coverage of police racism, I guess it’s pretty timely too. Read my article here.

I worked on the Women’s Budget Group’s response to George Osborne’s 2012 Budget and last year’s spending review. It is a pretty damning indictment of the government’s seeming ignorance of the effect of its policies on women. The WBG is a group of professionals and experts who have been analysing and evaluating economic policy for years, so I’m pretty honoured to work with them.  Have a look at some of their latest reports here.

And finally I’ve been longlisted for the George Orwell blog prize for political writing. Ridiculously excited about this as obviously I admire Orwell’s journalism. His essay on political writing is why I try to keep things simple, stay out of the story and let the subjects speak.

Over the next few weeks I will continue blogging my work on undocumented migrants in Europe and some new reporting on female asylum seekers detained in British immigration removal centres. Thanks for reading.