The Green Party

Government's reckless cuts are hitting women hardest

8 March 2012

 On International Women's Day, the Government must acknowledge the disproportionate impact that its cuts are having on women, Brighton Pavilion's MP has warned. 

Caroline Lucas, the Green Party leader, is today backing a campaign by the Public and Commercial Union (PCS) to highlight the impact of the Government's austerity measures on women.

Female unemployment is now at its highest for 23 years, and with an estimated 710,000 public sector jobs to go in the next three years, women look set to shoulder the biggest burden of the cuts.

A quarter of working women are employed in the public sector, and women make up 65% of the public sector workforce.

Those earning over £21,000 in the public sector also face a two year pay freeze, followed by a two year pay cap at an average of 1%.

 This amounts to a pay cut, as inflation is running at over 4%.

Women also make up two thirds of the UK's poorest pensioners, and are especially likely to suffer as a result of the cuts to children's services, support during pregnancy, domestic violence, trafficking services, and child benefit.

Caroline said: "The Government's refusal to heed the warnings from PCS, the Fawcett Society and others about the disproportionate impact of its brutal cuts on women has left us with female unemployment at its highest rate for 23 years and huge job uncertainty for women in the public sector.

"There is also serious anxiety amongst my constituents who are being hit by Coalition-imposed reductions in welfare and health services.

"On International Women's Day, I call on Ministers to acknowledge the effect that these cuts are having on women, and instead look to invest in the economy and a coherent job creation programme."  

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