Budget March 2017

HM Treasury written question – answered on 20th April 2017.

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Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Labour, Brent Central

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the analysis carried out by the Women's Budget Group and Runnymede Trust on the Spring Budget 2017, published in March 2017, that Asian women from the poorest 33 per cent income group will lose an average of £2,247 as a result of cumulative tax and benefit changes between 2010 and 2020.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government carefully considers the equality impacts of measures at fiscal events on those sharing protected characteristics, including gender, race and disability - in line with both the Government’s legal obligations and with its strong commitment to equality issues.

The analysis mentioned in the question ignores how a strong economy supports women and their families. Female employment has increased by 1.3 million since 2010. The lone parent employment rate increased by 11.8 percentage points from 2010 to 2016. The employment rate for Black and Minority Ethnic groups is at a record high of 64.8% and the number of BAME women in work is at a record high.

The Government also disagrees with some of the other assumptions underpinning the analysis, such as how the income from benefits are shared within households. Independent organisations such as the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the London School of Economics have been clear that it is very hard to look at the effects of policy changes affecting a household separately for men and women.

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