Women and the Budget

Has this Government actually done anything positive for women? I am scratching my head to come up with any example bar the help on pensions for stay-at-home mums. I guess you could say the Budget’s emphasis on entrepreneurs could help women, since more and more are starting business. Part of the reason they are doing so is because they cannot use their skills in business as it does not allow them the flexibility they need. The public sector job cuts disproportionately affect women and the tax credit cuts will affect the vast majority of families who are neither high nor low paid and could mean the difference between work being worthwhile financially or not. Waiving employment legislation for small companies could lead to a two-tier system which discourages women from choosing the type of employment which is often easier for them to do since small companies tend to be more locally based.

Is this all happenstance or do women who work just not matter to this Government? Are they an unaffordable extra in times of economic turbulence? The standard response to anyone criticising Government policy is “there’s no money”. The Government is betting everything on stimulating the private sector. But any business knows that you can’t keep squeezing your staff for more and more and expect greater productivity on a long-term basis. There has to be some form of motivation for employees bar the fear of losing their jobs. The Government needs to do what many forward-thinking businesses are doing and think more creatively and more long term about how we get out of the state we’re in. Or maybe it is doing that already, but it’s view of a way out is one that harks backwards rather than forwards.

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