The Conservative-led Government came in for strong criticism today in Parliament over the impact their policies are having on women.
The Member of Parliament for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham, this morning asked the Minister for Women and Equalities what discussions she had had with colleagues about the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and the disproportionate impact that the Government’s policies are having on women and black and minority ethnic groups in Britain.
Alex said that the Government should think again, take stock of the damage they are doing to the previous Government’s legacy of progress on these issues, and instead embrace a different set of policies that treat women and equalities fairly.
The Government Minister responding, Helen Grant MP, suggested that the Government’s achievements to women’s issues were limited to policies which affect everyone – regardless of gender – and failed to provide a response which listed a single women-specific policy.
Alex MP said:
“I was very surprised that the Minister wasn’t able to list a single achievement that applied to only women for two and a half years of Government. The previous Labour Government enormously expanded childcare provision, introduced Tax Credits, boosted maternity pay, and introduced the Equality and Equalities Acts.
“The current Government have brought in a raft of policies that take far more money away from women than men. Their recent changes to child benefit and enormous cuts to Tax Credits don’t impact fairly between the genders, with further cuts to in-work benefits to come.
“I’d like the Government to think again about what they are doing to women in this country and bring in some policies which help, rather than hurt. It is no coincidence that the Government’s are indifferent to women’s issues when they are so poorly represented in Government.”