Real terms cut in maternity pay is “effectively a £180 mummy tax on working women”, says Yvette Cooper

December 6, 2012 3:38 pm

Last night we brought you news of the “Mummy Tax”, as Labour attacked the government’s real terms cut in statutory maternity pay. Yvette Cooper has this afternoon joined the attack, saying:

“New mums are paying a heavy price for George Osborne’s economic failure.

“The Chancellor tried to pretend yesterday that he was targeting what he characterised as the work-shy. But the truth is that he is hitting millions of working people and cutting £180 from new working mums who take maternity leave to care for their babies.

“This real terms cut in maternity pay is effectively a £180 mummy tax on working women – and it’s bad for the whole family. Evidence shows women on low income are less likely to take their full maternity leave because they can’t afford to stay off work.

“David Cameron and George Osborne haven’t a clue about the pressures facing new mums worried about returning to work and making ends meet. Time and again they are making new mums in low paid work pay for their economic failure.

“Millions of working families will also see further cuts in child tax credit, child care tax credit and child benefit. House of Commons Library research has confirmed that women will be hit four times harder by the measures announced yesterday. Yet at the same time the Tories are giving thousands of pounds in tax cuts to the richest people in the country.

“These changes come on top of other cuts for pregnant women on low income, as well as hundreds of pounds already cut from tax credits.

“Women and their families are paying the price for this Government’s economic failure and once again, this out of touch Government has failed to understand the lives of women.”

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