92% of net savings to Treasury since 2010 shouldered by women, says Whittome

Sienna Rodgers
© David Woolfall/CC BY 3.0

92% of net savings to the Treasury via tax and social security changes since 2010 have been shouldered by women, Labour MP Nadia Whittome has highlighted on the basis of analysis released on International Women’s Day.

Research by the House of Commons Library commissioned by Whittome, the Nottingham East MP who is the UK’s youngest, shows that just 8% of savings through welfare, state pensions and direct taxation have come from men.

The 92% versus 8% figures include measures announced in Rishi Sunak’s new Budget. They do not include indirect taxation, business/corporation tax or pension tax relief, nor the Covid furlough or self-employment support schemes.

The latest data suggests the disproportionate impact on women is intensifying, as the same analysis conducted in 2017 – based on a methodology created by backbench Labour MP Yvette Cooper in 2010 – revealed a split of 86% to 14%.

Whittome has pointed out that despite exceptional measures being taken during the pandemic, such as the £20-a-week uplift to Universal Credit, the net savings generated from women since 2010 stood at £100.5bn compared to £8.2bn from men.

“Women have overwhelmingly paid the price for a decade of austerity, with money taken directly from their pockets. Measures announced in Wednesday’s Budget failed to rectify this deeply unfair burden and may have actually made things worse.

“We need a government that takes gender economic inequality seriously and is not oblivious to the impact its policies have on different groups,” Nadia Whittome, MP for Nottingham East, said.

“The Chancellor must now urgently publish the government’s equalities impact analysis of the Budget and explain what steps will be taken to rectify the massive disproportionate impact of government policy on the lives of women.”

Sunak unveiled an extra £19m over the next two years for domestic abuse schemes in England and Wales in the Budget on Wednesday. Leaders and organisations in the sector welcomed the move, but said a £200m “shortfall” remained.

The Chancellor’s lack of attention to the social care sector and decision to freeze public sector pay, particularly affecting women, were also criticised. Keir Starmer said Sunak “barely mentioned inequality let alone tried to address it”.

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