The SNP has called on Theresa May to “live up to her rhetoric” of being on the side of ordinary people by scrapping her party’s regressive policies against women.
A 2015 report by Engender found that since 2010, £26 billion worth of cuts have been made to benefits, tax credits, pay and pensions and 85% of this has fallen on women’s incomes.
This week, the new Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green confirmed that as part of the delayed roll-out of Universal Credit, the two child policy will continue to operate – meaning a further hit to women’s incomes.
During Women and Equalities Questions in the House of Commons, SNP MP Alison Thewliss asked what was being done about women being disproportionately impacted by Tory welfare reforms – Work and Pensions minister Caroline Nokes failed to suggest any way of tackling the imbalance.
Alison Thewliss MP said:
“According to Engender, since 2010 there have been £26 billion of cuts made to benefits, tax credits, pay and pensions with 85% of this coming directly from women’s incomes.
“The Tories are determined to plough on with the roll-out of Universal Credit despite the new Work and Pensions Secretary revealing the roll-out has been delayed for another year and despite the new benefit already being plagued with delays and billions of extra costs.
“The continued roll-out of the Tories’ failed new benefit will also mean the frankly medieval two child policy has still not been scrapped even though it almost certainly breaches the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.
“It is not enough to simply have a female Prime Minister as there is still so much work to be done when it comes to gender equality – Theresa May must live up to her rhetoric.”
West Dunbartonshire MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes added:
“Women and in particular low and middle income women are being badly treated by this Government and I welcome the fact that this latest report highlights what the SNP have been saying for some time.
“Not only do the changes to the state pension age have an adverse impact on an entire generation of women, but as I raised in Parliament last February, it will have a double impact on the household incomes of same sex female couples.
“I wholeheartedly agree with my colleague Alison Thewliss and on behalf of my communities thank her for raising this important issue with the Minister. The SNP will continue to keep pressure on the UK Government, their disproportionately detrimental policy making and the impact this has on women and hopefully highlighting this report and direct questioning of the Minister of State will help focus minds in Cabinet when they come to review their programme for Government.”