Two separate analyses have found that women are bearing the brunt of austerity measures introduced by the Coalition government. One analysis, by the House of Commons Library, calculates that nearly 75 per cent of budget savings since 2010 have primarily hit women’s incomes. A second analysis, by the Women’s Budget Group, examines the most recent (2012) Budget.
The Commons Library traces the gender impact of a long list of fiscal measures, starting with the 2010 Budget. The combined impact – by reference to projected government revenues in 2014/15 – is calculated to be £14.9 billion, of which £11.1 billion (74.5 per cent) will fall primarily on women.
The most severe impacts derive from changes to public sector pension arrangements (£6.1 billion), the tapered removal of child benefit from higher-rate taxpayers (£1.6 billion), and the decision to freeze child benefit for three years (£1.3 billion).
The Women’s Budget Group’s gender impact assessment of the March 2012 Budget finds that:
The analysis (The Impact on Women of the Budget 2012, Women’s Budget Group) is available on the Women’s Budget Group website. See also their press release. (The Women’s Budget Group is an independent organisation bringing together people from academia, non-governmental organisations and trade unions.)
More details on the 2012 budget can be found in The Impact of the budget on low income households.