25 NOVEMBER 2015

Responding to the Comprehensive Spending Review, Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society declared it to be “A mixed bag for women and for gender equality.”

“The Chancellor’s tax-credit U-turn is a win for women, particularly those on low incomes and single parents who would have been hard-hit but those changes but universal credit changes are to go ahead so effectively families and women in poverty will still lose out when those changes are implemented. It is also important to remember that child tax credits will still be restricted to the first two children, hurting larger families and those in poverty.”

“Some older women also benefit from the pensions triple lock but important to remember that in 2016/17 just 22% of them will get the full £155 single tier pension.”

“£6billion for childcare is v welcome but note the 30 hours free childcare offer is now limited to those working over 16 hours per week.  It is unclear exactly how this £6billion will be allocated.”

“Extra conditionality for job-centre plus is a worry our “Where’s the benefit?” research shows that increased conditionality works against women with caring responsibilities.”

“Older women and carers still hit hard by significantly under-funding social care.  The council tax increase of 2% will barely scratch the surface of what is needed. It is wrong to put additional pressure on cash-strapped communities when to patch over already underfunded services.”

“The tampon tax give away for vulnerable women’s services is very welcome but let’s not stop there. The Chancellor should also invest other money in women’s services.  Many of the services they rely on are being severely cut back at local level.”

“Good to see focus on apprenticeships but he has missed the opportunity for a 50:50 target on gender equality in STEM industries.  Vital if we are to get more young women in to non-traditional roles.”