New research shows single mothers hit hardest by welfare changes

Published on Thursday, 23 June 2011 08:32
Posted by Scott Buckler

A year on from the coalition government’s first budget, groundbreaking new research from the Fawcett Society and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (June 23rd) on the impact of tax and benefit changes on men and women has found

-The government could assess the different impact of its tax and benefit policies on women and men using data currently available. This runs counter to its claim that any meaningful assessment is impossible.

- Such an assessment, considering all tax and benefit reforms to be introduced between 2010 – 2015, shows that single women will lose more as a proportion of their income than other households as a result of the cuts.

- Single mothers can expect to lose 8.5 per cent of their net annual income by 2015 –more than a month’s income each year.

The full report 'Single Mothers: Singled Out -  the impact of 2010-15 tax and benefit changes on women and men' is available on the right hand side of this page.

Anna Bird, Acting Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society said:

During our court case, the government insisted that assessing how cuts impact differently on women and men in any meaningful way wasn’t possible; this research shows it can be done.

“This puts paid to the idea that the government can’t anticipate or predict the impact of its fiscal policies on different demographic groups. Had the Treasury been doing this research in the first place, single mothers might now not be facing a situation where they can’t afford childcare and so can’t work, and where some of the poorest women in our society are right now getting poorer.

“We’ve looked at each of the tax and welfare changes in turn, considered how different households will be affected by them, and calculated what the impact will be on different groups’ incomes.

“The results are clear: women are bearing the brunt of cuts. Single women, on average, are set to lose a greater proportion of their income than other households, such as single men or couple households.

“In part this is because women are typically poorer than men, but it is also because women make up the vast majority of lone parents – and it this group that are set to lose most under the reforms. Lone mothers can expect to lose the equivalent of one month’s income a year by the time all the cuts are implemented."

Some of the least well off in our society are being forced to act as shock absorbers for the cuts, with women – in particular single mothers - faring worse.

“A year on from the Coalition Government’s first budget, we call on the Chancellor to adopt this analysis in future budgets to allow for fairer and more transparent decision-making. The government should also review welfare, employment and childcare policy, so that lone mothers do not shoulder more than their fair share of cuts.”

Source: Fawcett Society

The views expressed in the contents below are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of GovToday.

Add comment