Women and austerity

Reposted from PCS people

This article from PCS, considers how austerity perpetuates gender inequalities, with women amongst the hardest hit.

David Cameron posted on his facebook page, that on International Womens’ day “we celebrate the achievements of women and must redouble our efforts to end discrimination and persecution around the world”

The comment attracted furious responses, most of them pointing out that the governments cuts have hit women hard and have deepened the discrimination and persecution Cameron claimed to want to eradicate.

A report by the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), which represents women’s associations across Europe, revealed that austerity policies undermine women’s rights and hamper sustainable and equal economic progress. Cuts in public spending in European Union member states have had the most impact on those who have little voice in economic decision making – women, children and the elderly.

A new study funded by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has found that women are losing more from the British governments direct tax and welfare changes than men, mainly because they receive a larger proportion of benefits and tax credits relating to children, which represents the bulk of the social security cuts since 2010.

Child maintenance charges

Among the welfare and benefit changes set to hit women hard is the introduction of charging for statutory child maintenance.

The “paying parent” will be charged 20% of their maintenance assessment and the receiving parent (usually the mother) a further 4% of the maintenance collected. This will result in significantly reduced payments.

Additional charges for tracing the paying parent will further reduce the maintenance eventually paid to the receiving parent for their child, often leaving the mother and child in poverty.

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