Chwarae Teg – Wales’ leading gender equality charity, has responded to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s Autumn Statement:
Natasha Davies, Policy and Research Lead, Chwarae Teg, said:
“Today’s statement is a missed opportunity to deliver an economy that tackles inequality and supports women.
“With the consequences of the cost of living crisis disproportionately falling on women, it is unfortunate that the Chancellor has chosen to embark on a journey of austerity-lite. Especially since women and
communities across Wales are still struggling with the consequences of the last programme of austerity. The Chancellor’s decisions will again see those who are least well-off in society paying for mistakes they did
“Planned restrictions on public sector spending will do little to support our economy. These measures will disproportionately impact women who are more likely to use and work in public services, making tackling
gender inequality even more difficult.
“In order to meet the current economic challenge and deliver an economy that works for women, we needed to see investment in people, skills and vital public services. Supporting more women into and to progress at work is a vital way to ensure both equity and growth in the economy. The Chancellor’s proposals fall well short of this.
“Although commitments to up-rate benefits in line with inflation, increase the National Living Wage and some initial steps towards more progressive taxation of wealth are welcome, restrictions on public spending, increased conditionality for those on Universal Credit and changes to the energy price cap will see many women and families no better off.
“It is vital that the UK Government centres tackling gender inequality in its budgetary decisions in order to better support women, and meet current economic challenges head-on.”