Campaigners say Truss tax plans could send women ‘back to the 1950s’

Campaigners have expressed concern over a statement by Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss about a proposed tax incentive for stay-at-home parents.

Tax Return

UK HMRC self assessment income tax return form 2020

Tory leadership candidate Liz Truss has promised tax reforms which she says will stop people being penalised for taking time off work to care for family members or children – but campaigners are warning it could encourage women to leave the workplace.

The Foreign Secretary has said that if she becomes prime minister she will launch a review to allow households to be treated as single tax entities and enabling one member of a couple to transfer some or all of their personal tax-free allowance to another so they can focus on caring. She says this is based on the German and US model.

But Labour MP Stella Creasy says the move would take women “back to the 1950s” by effectively encouraging women to stay home.

She said: “Families across this country are crying out for affordable childcare so that they don’t have to choose between their career and their kids – instead of helping them and investing in provision, Liz Truss seems to think taxes should be used to make women stay home instead. It shows you this Tory party wants to take Britain back to the 1950s, not help everyone thrive in the 2020s.”

Campaign group Pregnant Then Screwed said that unless childcare was also made cheaper, the tax move would remove choice from women over whether to work or not.

Joeli Brearley, founder of the group, told PA news service: “Initially the policy sounds great, because, of course, stay-at-home parents do deserve to be remunerated for the really valuable work that they do and we have been arguing for that for a long time.

“However, if you give couples tax breaks for one person staying at home, we know it’s women that will leave the workforce, not men.”



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