‘None of the announcements were enough to make up for the sustained underfunding of public services since 2010.’
This is according to the Women’s Budget Group (WBG)’s response to the 2018 Autumn Budget, published November 2018.
The report finds that, overall, the government’s claims to ending austerity are not matched by policy and spending changes. Findings include:
- The additional £400m to schools will do little to counteract the 5bn fall in school spending in real terms since 2009. No money was allocated to enact the recommendations of a report by the Women and Equalities Committee of the House of Commons on sexual harassment in schools.
- The WBG welcome the increase in Universal Credit work allowance for some families. However overall this Budget does not begin to reverse the drastic cuts to social security since 2010 – cuts which predominantly impact women.
- Tax giveaways totaling more than £3bn a year mostly benefited men, who are more likely to be higher earners. As the WBG has repeatedly argued, raising income tax thresholds does not help the low-paid, who are disproportionately women.
- Local government has faced significant cuts to budgets since 2010 alongside rising demand for adult social care, children’s services and homelessness support services – short-term funding boosts in this Budget do not do enough to address this. This threatens many of the services that women rely on.