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The Coalition Government has now passed its first 100 days in office and is gearing up to the implementation of the comprehensive spending review next month. Workingmums. co.uk carried out a survey to ask working parents who they feel has been hit hardest following the emergency Budget.
The Coalition Government has now passed its first 100 days in office and is gearing up to the implementation of the comprehensive spending review next month. Workingmums. co.uk carried out a survey to ask working parents who they feel has suffered the most following the emergency Budget.
Our survey said
We asked the question ‘Who do you think has been hit hardest by the Budget squeeze?’ A majority – six out of ten (60%) – said ‘nearly everybody, only the very wealthy have escaped’. However, a quarter (25%) felt the ‘poorest’ in society had been the most harshly hit in the Budget. Only one in 10 (10%) claimed women had been most affected by the cuts.
Kim Dutta told our poll: ”I agree that ‘nearly everybody’ has indeed been affected by the present Budget squeeze, but it is the poorest who have been hardest hit, ‘hardest hit’ being the key words.”
One anonymous respondent to our survey said: ”I think everyone has been hit hard by the Budget and I don’t suppose things will change anytime soon.”
What happens next?
The results of the spending review will be announced in six weeks time on Wednesday October 20th – decisions will be announced on where the axe is going to fall. According to the Treasury’s website, around 44,000 ideas have come in from the public suggesting areas where money could be saved.
But hovering in the background is a legal challenge to the measures outlined in June’s emergency Budget. Chancellor George Osborne called the Budget ”tough but fair”, but his measures have come under attack from the campaigning women’s group the Fawcett Society. The organisation has lodged a bid with the High Court for a Judicial Review against the Budget on the grounds it broke equality laws and has hit women hardest.
It also emerged that Home Secretary Theresa May had warned the Goverment before the Budget not to risk breaching equality laws. In a letter she wrote: ”There are real risks that women, ethnic minorites, disabled people and older people will be disproportionately affected.” She pointed out to fellow ministers women made up a higher number of public sector workers and would be badly hit by a decrease in tax credits and welfare payments.
Daisy Sands, policy and campaigns officer at the Fawcett Society, told Workingmums.co.uk: ”Despite the Chancellor’s repeated claims that we’re all in this together, more than a third of those surveyed believe that it is women and the poor who will be hardest hit by the recent Budget. Research from the House of Commons Library, the Women’s Budget Group, and Fawcett’s own analysis of the Budget clearly shows that it is women in the UK who will bear the brunt of cuts.
”Even a rough cut top line assessment of the Budget measures show 72% of cuts will be met from women’s income as opposed to 28% from men’s. This is because many of the cuts are to the benefits that more women than men rely on, and the changes to the tax system will benefit more men than women.”
A spokesperson for the Fawcett Society confirmed their challenge was caught up in legal procedures as regards the Judicial Review request. In response to the attempt for a Judicial Review, the Government has filed a request for an extension of time before filing papers.