New research by the independent House of Commons Library shows that the measures outlined in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement will be paid for almost three times more by women than by men. On Tuesday, George Osborne laid out plans to raise £2.37 billion though tax credit cuts and caps on public sector pay — but new figures reveal that 73 per cent (£1.73 billion) of the money will come from women, and just 27 per cent (£638 million) from men.
The report, commissioned by the Labour party, reveals that the Chancellor’s two-year 1 per cent cap on public sector pay rises will affect 4.6 million women and 2.6 million men, meanwhile changes to child tax credits will take £908m from women (89 per cent), whilst men will lose £112m.
On release of the findings, Labour leader Ed Miliband called this latest round of cuts by the Coalition government “the biggest attack on women in a generation.”
Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper said: “The Government is clearly shockingly out of touch with women’s lives,” and noted that Tuesday’s round of austerity measures announced by Osborne are not the first with a gender bias: “If you look at all the changes to direct tax, benefits, pay and pensions announced by the Chancellor since the General Election, of the £18.9 billion that the Government is raising each year, £13.2 billion is coming from women and £5.7 billion from men. Women are being hit twice as hard.”
The NS has long noted the Coalition’s problems with women: a recent leading article considered David Cameron’s treatment of issues “from public-service reform to benefits to rape,” and statistics in both the long- and short-term have shown support by women for the Conservative party to be in steep decline.